Why Recognizing Hard Work is Valuable for Happy Employees

Why Recognizing Hard Work is Valuable for Happy Employees

We love our staff, and it’s important to us that they know it. In honor of Direct Support Professional Recognition Week (September 8-14, 2019), we visited with GoodLife’s director of HR, Adriane Murray. She shares all that GoodLife does to recognize our caregivers, residents and partners that work hard every day to reimagine what’s possible for independent living. 

Adriane, how does GoodLife recognize your hard-working staff regularly? 
We love celebrating one another! Each month, our internal staff has the opportunity to nominate their fellow employees, from Direct Support Professionals (DSP) to managers, for Direct Support Professional (DSP) of the Month. The nominating member submits why their coworker deserves the recognition, and our directors choose the winner. 

Something new this year is recognizing longevity with the company. So on your 1, 5 and 10 year GoodLife anniversary, you receive a gift and meaningful message. As someone that’s been with GoodLife for 14 years, this means a lot to me personally. 

Why is this monthly recognition valuable? 
Anything we can do to publically appreciate our DSP’s and other management staff is so important because they give so much of themselves to GoodLife and our residents. It’s a tangible way that we can say thank you for all they do for us. It started as a tool to internally change our culture across the board-not every manager has the gift of outwardly praising hard work. This program is a way to make that happen for everyone, and it’s become something really meaningful. When employees feel valued, they stay with you longer and take carry a higher sense of pride in their work. 

On top of monthly awards, we hear you’re in charge of a big party in October? 
(laughs) Yes! Our Employee Appreciation event! 

It is an event to celebrate all staff featuring food, music and treats from KC Pop Co! We will also recognize the nominees and winners of our six staff-nominated awards:

Creative Contribution: An employee who has turned a wonderful idea into reality by coming up with cost-effective means with which to implement it.

Extended Family Teacher (EFT) of the Year Award: An employee who puts time, talent and energy toward positively impacting the quality of lives, community integration and opportunities available for residents. This award also recognizes an EFT’s ability to integrate residents into his or her family. 

Family Teaching Couple (FTC) of the Year Award: A family who puts time, talent and energy toward positively impacting the quality of lives, community integration and opportunities available for residents. This award also recognizes an FTC’s ability to integrate residents into their family.

Individual Achievement Award: A GoodLife resident who has made extraordinary growth in living a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle and increasing their independence. 

Janet Kaub Exemplary Teaching and Service Award: A teaching counselor that gives time, talent and energy that positively impacts the quality of lives, community integration, and opportunities made available for residents.

Tommy Johnson Distinguished Service Award: An employee who give their time, talent, and energy to positively impact services for people with I/DD.

Wow! That covers about everybody!
I know! One thing I love about GoodLife is that we take time and spend money to make sure our staff knows they are appreciated. As a former Family Teaching Couple (FTC) of the Year Award nominee, I can tell you that the acknowledgement truly makes you feel seen. On another note, the nature of working in various locations can make us feel decentralized at times, so this is also a great way to spend time together face to face. 

How do you include parents, guardians and family into your recognition efforts? 
A lot of our family members are very involved with our staff, and easily become like family. Parents and guardians can donate money to our Employee Appreciation event or write personal notes to staff as a way to express their gratitude. Many times, thanks from family members are the most meaningful to our caregivers.  

Curious what else is happening around here? Join us in the good life by following our blog.