Every September is Staff Appreciation Month at Helping Hand. The organisation dedicates an entire month to saying thank you to its staff for the incredible contribution they make to the lives of thousands of people.
From bowls of chocolates and friendly notes, to speeches and events – Staff Appreciation Month focusses our attention on our colleagues and creates meaningful space to pause and reflect on their commitment and dedication.
The People and Culture team sends Staff Appreciation boxes to every site, service and office across the state and stations are set up which encourage people to talk, share and give small gifts of thanks. Years of service certificates are also on display to acknowledge the milestones of our team members.
Some sites take Staff Appreciation Month to new levels. Ingle Farm is one such location. At that care home, a photo booth has been set up with dress-ups, wigs, glasses and decorations. Staff, residents, families and volunteers get in the spirit, have some fun with dressing up and pin their photos up.
Julie Goods, Executive Manager People and Culture, introduced Staff Appreciation Month four years ago, expanding an existing program of staff recognition.
‘The business used to hold lunches at each site and service but they were held at different times throughout the year. We made a decision to create an entire month for Staff Appreciation as one way to bring people together in the spirit of staff appreciation all at the same time,’ she says.
‘This initiative brings the focus to honouring the contribution of our workforce – both staff and volunteers – and we do it in a very public way. The Staff Appreciation stations are set up where residents, clients and families can also participate and get involved. It spreads awareness about how much we value our staff.’
A practice of recognition is also created through a Compliment feature on the organisation App which is part of the staff culture program The Helping Hand Way. Everyone is encouraged to compliment and thank each other via the App and Julie says she sees a rise in compliments during Staff Appreciation Month.
‘Staff also always say to me how much they value receiving a personalised letter every year to thank them for their years of service,’ she says.
‘It is a very successful program and our staff feel the positive impact of it. But having said that, I do need to pay credit to our Managers who really do show their appreciation of our staff all year round.’
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