Showing your team members you care about them as individuals and value their great work is a powerful way to boost morale and increase employee engagement. This is important because appreciating and celebrating your people can also help keep team members from leaving. According to a Limeade Employee Care Report, most employees say one third of employees quit their jobs because they did not feel like their bosses cared about them.

Our partners at the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon are shining examples when it comes to recognizing their people. Their new program, Douglas Heroes, recognizes and celebrates employees who go above and beyond in the work they do.

During our What’s Right in Education virtual conference, Director of Education Andy Long explained that two episodes of the Accelerate Your Performance podcast help spark the idea for Douglas Heroes. In episode 72, Intentional Communication Starts With Why, it was a line Dr. JoAnn Sternke said that stuck: “Create heroes for those people who are serving people right now.” In episode 71, Be Bold About Action, a statement from Quint Studer left an impression: “Great leaders say, ‘We’re going to get through this. They talk about why it’s going to be okay’.” From there, the idea for Douglas Heroes was born.

Long says that the goal of the program is to lift others up while recognizing the amazing efforts of those in the school district. The program gives employees the opportunity to call out the name of a colleague who has gone above and beyond, sharing details about why their service was excellent. After the submissions are made, an email goes out to the entire team recognizing those individuals for their great work.

Douglas Heroes is a low cost, high impact program, which exemplifies the school district’s people first focus. Not only does it celebrate the heroes going above and beyond, it communicates to the entire team what “right” looks like. As we at Studer Education like to say, what gets recognized gets repeated.

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