What Success Looks Like
Taking appreciation personally
Openness and Trust
October 13, 2010
For the Office of Responsible Research Practices (ORRP), offering appreciation is something to be taken personally.
Six years ago, Director Judy Neidig began using the annual staff retreat as a formal opportunity to share appreciation with staff. With the retreat scheduled toward the end of summer, it’s a good tie-in to the University’s annual Staff Appreciation Week.
As in the past, at this year’s retreat, Neidig presented each person with a handwritten note of appreciation from his or her manager, and, as she presented the note, she shared her own appreciation for that person in front of the group. She didn’t use notes, and offered very specific, personalized appreciation.
That personal, heartfelt approach Neidig made the experience meaningful, said Jill Dusina, a regulatory manager who splits her time between the College of Medicine and Office of Responsible Research Practices.
“People paid close attention, not only when it was about them, but when Judy talked to others as well,” she said. “That personal, public recognition is one of the most important things for all of us.”
Neidig has used this approach for the last six years, and formalized the process in 2008 to ensure appreciation occurs at least once a year. And while the requirement only calls for her leadership team to offer appreciation annually, Neidig encourages people to think about it regularly.
“We can’t let the business of the day be an excuse to rule out the importance of taking a minute to connect with each other and build each other up,” she said. “We all have the power within us to touch people every day.”