The Staff Awards at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) are now in their fifth year and have been growing in popularity since the first event in 2014.
The feedback from the events in regard to staff morale and acknowledgement has been incredible – but due to the awards being annually, it felt like there should be more opportunities at a local level to recognise the staff and volunteers for their hard work.
A member of staff at ULHT spotted the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust FAB story on their recognition tool. We thought this tool was truly ‘FABulous’ and we wanted to create something similar in our organisation, but we knew it needed to be something easily accessible and owned by the staff and volunteers.
We came up with ‘Examples of Excellence’, an online tool on the Trust’s intranet which can be accessed by all staff. Staff can visit the page and send a thank you certificate to a colleague or volunteer. It’s based around our Trust value of ‘excellence – striving to be the best that we can be. Innovating and learning from others’ and encourages people to recognise and thank others for going above and beyond. The system creates a certificate which is then sent to their colleagues’ email address with an option for them to print it and show it off. We’ve also created a team certificate when people want to recognise an entire team.
Keeping volunteers in mind, who don’t all have regular access to email, we split it into two sections, ‘thank you for staff’ and ‘thank you for volunteers’. When a volunteer is sent one, it is sent to the volunteers manager who prints the certificate off and presents the volunteer with it.
Examples of Excellence was launch on 4 May 2018 and one year on we have seen an amazing 1010 certificates sent to our staff and volunteers. Paper copies are also available for those who would prefer to write their own and give it more of a personal touch and we’ve also had almost 400 blank copies downloaded.
In the current climate and as one of the largest acute hospital Trusts in the country, it’s crucial that all of our employees show each other appreciation and our staff and volunteers receive the recognition they truly deserve. The Examples of Excellence is one of the ways we’ve been encouraging this and we hope to see even more of them sent in future years.