Celebrating the success of your staff and services is something which we in IT can be reticent about doing. Celebrating success is not only rewarding for your teams but also raises the profile on your service within your organisation and within the sector. You don’t have to be a shameless self-promoter to appreciate the hard work done by your team and celebrate the value they add to your customers.
Success can be on an individual, team or project wide basis. Celebrating these achievements can boost motivation and increase staff engagement which ultimately can lead to improved customer satisfaction.
The small successes Top
Many of us are extremely busy with the day to day, business as usual and easily forget to celebrate the successes which take place every day. Internal communications within the department are a great way to acknowledge and celebrate the work done by our teams. These could be:
- regular briefings by IT director outlining achievements;
- weekly newsletters welcoming new staff, staff personal news and customer feedback;
- web pages. Create a news article on your website. This can act as the single source of news which can be linked to in other channels;
- internal awards schemes. (Some organisations have schemes which allow colleagues to nominate each other for modest awards, such as shopping vouchers or chocolates, to recognise the small things we do that make the difference to customers and colleagues).
Every IT department has a strategy, a vision or a set of goals – these may be over a short time or span a number of years. Many departments will put their strategy up on their website for customers to read but not many will publicise the success of those strategies (and therefore acknowledge potentially years of hard work that have gone into achieving them). If you’ve taken time to write a strategy and achieve its goals then it’s definitely worth shouting about! Here are some examples of celebrating reaching those targets:
- Oxford Brookes University Review of the year 2017 / video of IT strategy outcomes www.brookes.ac.uk;
- University of Edinburgh Business continuity processes in action / “Beast from the East” blog (www.ucisa.ac.uk);
- Lancaster University Project case studies (wp.lancs.ac.uk);
- University of Greenwich Student-led teaching awards “I don’t think any student would complete their time here if it wasn’t for their [IT and Library Support] services! They have been absolutely excellent whatever the issue is. They are definitely the driving force behind the University of Greenwich, and they deserve the recognition.” www.suug.co.uk
“I am a firm believer that a key element to the role of the manager is to fly the flag for the team and the service! To recognise and reward good performance it is important that we celebrate success. I have regularly put staff forward for industry awards and events. Whilst I was Service Desk Manager at the University of Leeds we were finalists in the 2014 and 2015 IT Service and Support Awards, and we also partake in the annual “I Love My Service Desk” competition to celebrate IT Service Week.
I have also put a number of individuals forward for awards: Laura Rimkute was a finalist in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards and Antonia Jones won the best IT Support Professional 2015. At Leeds Beckett University we have our own internal awards - the annual Achieving Excellence Awards and we have encouraged to the staff to ask customers to nominate them for best team. And I am also working looking at the ITSSA18 …
Putting ourselves forward for these awards is great fun and is an excellent way of improving team morale and gives us all something to be proud of. Although winning is great, the value actually comes from putting together the submission and getting the whole team involved in this process has been a great exercise in team building.”
Sally Bogg | Head of End User Services, Client Services, IT Services, Leeds Beckett University
Winning an award is classed as marketing gold! If an individual or a team has won award this is definitely the time to shout about it and tell the world. Being nominated for and winning awards is not only fantastic for the people involved but also a source of inspiration for their colleagues; it highlights the capabilities of your team and showcases the department’s commitment to excellence. There are many channels in which to share this news but here are a few tips:
- Share the news internally. Make sure everyone in the department knows first. IT departments can be large teams spread across several campuses. You could host a staff celebration event or use internal news channels.
- Web pages. Create a news article of your website. This can act as the single source of news which can be linked to in other channels:
- Student reviews put Lancaster at Number 2 for wi-fi
- Service Desk Team Leader scoops national award
- Heidi Fraser-Krauss: CIO of the Year!
- Tell your customers. Social media is great place to start. Sharing pictures of the award winners with their trophies and link to the news article for more information.
- Blog. Ask the awards winner to reflect by writing a celebratory blog post or ask colleagues to write about their experiences of working alongside them.