Individuals make a difference

How does your organisation show that it values individuals who excel? How important is it to the individual to be recognised and acknowledged for their excellent work?

Awards for Excellence in Queensland’s Public Sector

IpaaexcellenceLast week the Queensland Division of the Institute of Public Administration Australia announced the winners of its 2012 Public Sector Excellence Awards. The array of very special people and their amazing contributions to their organisations, communities, needy client groups and the Public in general was astounding. The achievements ranged from extraordinary efforts in providing rebuilding assistance and social support in the wake of last year’s devastating floods in South East Queensland, to providing much needed and innovative intervention for children and young people with extreme behaviours and complex disability needs.

In each category the Award recipients were chosen because they made a difference by their personal contribution or leadership of a team that demonstrated a commitment to excellence and best practice in service delivery. The full list of Awards and the winners can be found on the website of the Institute of Public Administration

Each of the Award recipients was invited to respond with a short speech and almost all expressed three common feelings.

1. How thrilled they were to be acknowledged;

2. How much they valued the team who contributed to the outcome being recognised; and

3. How the recognition encouraged them to continue aspiring to better outcomes in their field.

The Power of Positive Recognition

There is a lesson for all modern organisations in those responses.  The power of positive recognition and the beneficial effects of publicly demonstrating how the organisation values its people, which acts as a further incentive. Whilst good people don’t set out to pursue excellence because there might be some recognition attached in due course, acknowledgement by praise, when it is
offered,  does provide an enormous boost to their confidence and resolve to continue the good work.

Some form of structured program of recognising outstanding contributions to corporate outcomes should be part of the good governance of every organisation – large or small. I even know of one Company with only a very few employees that conducts a monthly “Chocolate Frog Award”, which has become a coverted reward for being recognised as best displaying the Company Values during the month. Nominations are invited from within the body of staff themselves as a means of promoting mutual support and recognition.

Unfortunately a slight cloud over the otherwise joyous event last week was the news from several of the Awardees  that either their role or the program being recognised for its achievements was to be discontinued as a result of Government budget cuts.

Nevertheless the pleasure brought to these special individuals by being recognised in this way could not be disguised – as can be seen in the broad smiles in the accompanying photograph taken on the night.


IPAA (Qld) Excellence Awards Winners 2012

Image courtesy of IPAA(Qld)


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