District works to recognize employee excellence

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Representatives from more than 20 district departments gathered on Tuesday to discuss the importance of recognizing employees that consistently perform their duties with excellence.

The focus group was a part of Communication Services’ plan to formalize the district’s process for recognizing employee excellence.

Approximately 50 employees from departments such as Risk Management, Accounting Services, Truancy, and Health Services agreed that employee recognition improves the work climate and makes staff feel valued. The tenure of the employees taking part in the focus groups ranged from four months to more than 25 years.

Like many who attended the focus group, Keyla Kirton, who was hired four months ago to recruit staff for the Operations Division, is bullish on the idea of more and better employee recognition.

“I’m happy to learn that the district is actively engaged in recognizing employees,” Kirton said. “As a human capital manager myself, I think that’s very important. It helps morale. It helps attendance. It helps performance and even employee health. I’m very happy to be a part of it.”

Several departments already employ informal recognition efforts. Some supervisors pen handwritten notes, hold periodic potluck gatherings, and even personally pick up the tab for lunch for an especially diligent employee.

Focus group attendees shared some other ideas on how to recognize employee excellence, such as building in funds for employee recognition into department budgets, posting the names and photos of exemplary employees in a special newsletter or on the district website, and holding a year-end recognition like a banquet or a company picnic for employees and their families.

The district’s Internal Communications team plans to collect and categorize the ideas shared at the focus groups and make a recommendation for how to formally and informally recognize employees. The recommendation will be made to district leadership.

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