This week I received a nomination, as part of one of the teams I work in, for an award linked to outstanding across-college impact. I was thrilled by this, as I respond very well to praise, the smallest of pats on the back cheers me up immensely. So to be nominated for an award, where I get a free dinner and an evening out really makes my week.
This got me thinking about the nature of praise and the recognition we get for the things that we do.
I have also been watching the great RSA Dan Pink video on what really motivates, and surprisingly, it isn’t money!
I am keen to tell my students how happy I am with them when they behave really well, produce excellent work, or just hold a door open for me. I believe fully in modelling good behaviour in the classroom and thanking them for anything positive that they do, it is now really natural, and I even find myself saying “cheers, lovely, thanks” in an attempt to really show how pleased I am.
Is this appreciated? I hope so…
So back to staff…
I like the idea of an awards evening, I think it is great that a college is happy to organise and finance such an event, my only concern is that nominations always seem to come from the same places.
The way it works is that any member of staff can nominate any other member of staff for one of several awards, a short list is then drawn up and the short listed staff and teams attend the awards evening. Perfect! But is it? If you are an outstanding teacher, a brilliant and gifted learning assistant or a highly efficient and effective member of support staff but no one can be bothered to put fingers to keys to nominate you, then you’re never going to get the further recognition you deserve.
I always make a point of nominating staff or teams for at least 3 awards every year, I find that extra time and write what I hope is enough of a glowing report to get them the recognition they deserve.
Do others do the same? I think there are some that do, but plenty that don’t. It all comes down to going that extra mile, to find the time to say “thank you” and “well done”. We do it for our students daily, maybe we should try doing it for our peers more regularly?
I feel I am being drawn off in a direction to think about the phrase “going the extra mile” and how much that really happens in our colleges, but for now, I will leave you with this simple idea –
Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern.