Friday, October 23, 2009

Staff recognition

I recently received an email and had a conversation with staff member Sue Praed about staff recognition and thought I’d share with you Susan’s remarks. Staff recognition is a subject that I’ve been discussing with others and I hope that before Christmas we can conduct a CQUniversity staff climate survey which will tell us a lot about they way people feel about the uni. I expect “recognition” will be a factor – it is in just about every other university!
I think Sue’s comments are very worthwhile.
(And Tim [see email below], – sounds like you are getting this right – WELL DONE. I hope you will be able to bring your experience to the CQUniversity Senior Leadership Conference next month.)


Here are Sue’s remarks:

From: Susan Praed
Sent: Thursday, 22 October 2009 2:59 PM
To: Vice Chancellor - CQUniversitySubject:
Staff Recognition Program

Dear Scott,

Let me briefly introduce myself to you. My name is Sue Praed and I am currently EA to the Head of School, Computing Sciences, Tim Roberts. I have been employed at CQUniversity now for the past 9 years. During this time, I have worked at Bundaberg Campus in Administration, STEPS and Student Services, relieved staff when on leave in Informatics & Communication and Business and Law.

Since commencing in this role in April 2009, I have been wanting to put forward an idea to recognise staff for different reasons. This may have already been suggested to you, my apologies if it has, but I would like to continue just in case it hasn’t.

Prior attempts have always been met with, we don’t have the faculty funds/budget to do such things for our employees because the policy doesn’t allow expenditure for such items. My initial request was for small gifts of appreciation, ie. Christmas cards for the school staff, random free goods, ie. coffee vouchers, book vouchers, free donuts and or other small gifts that can brighten peoples days. Additionally, a recognition email, perhaps once a month recognising long hours, good work or dedication to a particular task/job, either individual or group. In the School of Computing Sciences, I have adopted birthday emails to staff from our school and recognise years of service via email when they occur. Tim sent all school staff a Christmas Card for the first time in 08 and he continually recognises staff in his school and has built great rapport with them. They are very lucky to have him as their supervisor. It sounds simple, but it’s effective, they do say it’s the small things that count. I often reflect back to my days with BHP, where HR was very active in recognising employees for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years service etc, with medallions, engraved pens, party to the value of X and a gold watch.

I have bounced ideas around with a few staff here and our Head of School, but now would like your thoughts on perhaps expanding this suggestion to the next level. I regularly get information emailed to me from Red Balloon, a company that specialises in giving pleasure and ultimately impacting employees of large and small organisations. If you have time, some articles can be found at I believe these good news stories currently meet with your goals and visions for the future.

Seeing the damaging and prolonged effects that low morale can have on people saddens me. Over the years, staff have really been hit hard due to numerous restructures/changes etc. It is important to the development of staff that they feel appreciated in their work. This in turn, increases morale, productivity and most importantly, collegial relationships. With you on board, what a perfect time to build on boosting morale by instigating an employee recognition program here at CQUniversity. We’ll have everyone wanting to work at the best regional university in Australia!

Thanks for your time in this Scott,

Kind regards,

Susan Praed
Administrative Officer (School Operations)
School of Computing Sciences
Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics & Education

1 comment:

Unknown said...

As a long-term student and casual employee at CQUniversity, I am very sympathetic of the issues with low morale. It is not uncommon in this highly stressful environment to see students near to tears. The staff are always very professional, but they at times seem to hit a brick wall. due to the demands of the job, or the limitations in what they can do for students. Seeing some small token of appreciation for excellence of service, and commitment to the job would be a step in the right direction to lifting of the sometimes low staff morale and would brighten everyone's day.