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found that celebrating achievements can go a long way to improving staff retention, increasing staff satisfaction and performance.

Whether giving out praise, or implementing reward and recognition schemes, it is important to consider what can be done to make employees feel respected and valued for their contribution.

The external celebration of staff’s achievements also has the bonus of improving perceptions of social care. This can support the recruitment of people with a positive view of the sector who are consequently more likely to remain.

Top tips:

  • Involve people who need care and support to give feedback and share and celebrate positive feedback with staff.
  • Recognise when staff do something well through sharing it within your team and organisation. You can share this good practice through various methods including social media, inviting staff to share their work with colleagues and the staff intranet.
  • Involve your staff in engaging with the local community through local recruitment fairs, recruitment drives, social media and videos.
  • Take part in local and/or national recognition awards and annual awareness days, such as Accolades and week respectively.

Case studies

Yvonne Obuaya, Managing Director, Curado Group

What we did:

We have a range of initiatives in place to recognise and reward staff, including employee of the month, gifts for special occasions, a voucher when they pass their probation period, discount schemes, and notably our annual awards ceremony.

Why we did it:

We’re an ‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation so it’s an important part of our culture that we invest in our people and they’re recognised.

How we did it:

We’ve been doing the awards for 12 years now. It started originally as an extension from our Christmas party and grew from there as we looked for more ways to reward and recognise staff beyond regular appraisals. It started as an internal event, but we now also include external awards for other organisations too.

The results:

It’s the highlight of our social calendar, people feel rewarded and it’s a fun evening. It’s definitely a big retention driver because staff feel very valued, and it’s an uplifting moment. It makes them feel special and it motivates them to do more.

Cumbria County Council

What they did:

Launched an innovative peer-to-peer reward system, with messages of thanks received by employees from their colleagues. 

Why they did it:

To keep the Council’s whole internal community ‘in touch’, with many working in their communities rather than being office or centre based. More importantly, the Council wanted to continuously reassure employees that their hard work was seen and recognised. 

How they did it:

The Council created a webpage and online form which enabled staff to write a message to a colleague they felt deserved recognition and it would be emailed to the nominee. The Council circulated the weblink which frontline employees could access on their own personal devices, as well as distributing postcards to all care homes, fire stations and highway depots to encourage frontline staff without regular computer access to send a thank you to their colleagues and return it via a Freepost address. 

Those receiving a thank you were encouraged to include it on their email signature and frontline staff received a badge. Moreover, staff were entered into a prize draw for some Cumbrian gifts.

The Council used various internal communication channels to promote the system, such as Yammer, the CEO’s blog, department updates, newsletters and the intranet slider. 

The results:

The one-month campaign immediately caught on, with over 1200 colleagues sending a message of thanks – equivalent to over 20 per cent of the workforce.


Useful links

Ƶ’s recognition awards Accolades