Motivation can come in many forms. It’s up to department officers to get to know their membership and identify how individuals best receive praise. It is also up to department leadership to create a rewards system to keep members motivated throughout their tenure with the organization.
WHY Is it important to recognize department members? Membership recognition increases department motivation. Small tokens of appreciation, whether a physical award or a handwritten note, are easy ways to show department members know leadership appreciates their efforts. Increased acknowledgment leads to increase productivity and in turn, an increase in department pride.
WHO should be recognized? Every member of an organization should receive some sort of recognition for their contributory efforts. Remember that volunteers are there on their own time, for no pay. Even the chief can receive some sort of recognition from the department. Administrative members should also have some sort of appreciation or recognition program in place to ensure efforts are acknowledged throughout every position of the organization.
WHEN should someone be recognized? Anytime a member goes above and beyond their normal scope of work, they should be receiving some sort of thanks. This doesn’t have to be a tangible award, it can be something as simple as a thank you text or email. This simple act will resonate with the recipient and create an everlasting sense of accomplishment. Awards can also be given for most calls run, most improved, most hours volunteered or even most trainees trained. There are numerous types of awards or programs that can be implemented.
HOW should a department show appreciate? Banquets are the most popular form of department wide appreciate. These dinners, usually held once yearly, allow for membership to come together for a time to celebrate the department’s success. Physical awards can be plaques, certificates, trophies or even gift cards. Spot awards are also a nice gesture to acknowledge someone in the moment. Gift cards or challenge coins are a perfect option for a quick thanks to a deserving individual. The most important thing to remember is that recognition does not always come in a physical gift form. Sometimes the best form of acknowledgement is a verbal thank you, a quick email or a social media post on the department’s page. Expressing membership appreciation is the best retention tool a department can obtain.
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