Awards for all

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I’ve spent the past couple of weeks enjoying some sun on a family holiday and also made good use of my time catching up on reading and pondering (I can hear the depressed sighs from my team already dreading the flow of questions and 'ideas').

A snapshot of the adult awards scheme

One of the papers I reviewed included an annual report by the awards board. This board is a sub-committee of the operations sub-committee, and is responsible for overseeing our scheme of adult recognition for good service and approving award nominations.

Saying thank you appropriately

At a time when our number of volunteers is growing, and we’ve been publicising the importance of saying thank you. I found some of the statistics a little surprising, notably that only around 2% of adults receive recognition each year.

There was also some anecdotal evidence that few of those are under 30 years of age, or that they are group-based at higher 'levels' of recognition. Over 12% of nominations are initially sent back by the board, for example, with requests for 'better' citations or evidence of achievements.

Not just internally

I was also struck by how few of our volunteers received external recognition through the national honours scheme. For example, around 80 silver wolfs are awarded each year, but seldom do our volunteers get more than a few national honours each year.

Making life easier and fairer

It’s left me wondering if there are any ways in which adult recognition could be improved. Could citations be replaced by more of a Q&A type format? (Certainly, as a line manager, I’ve always found citation writing very difficult and I’m not usually stuck for words). 

Would greater local delegation improve the numbers? If we did this, how could national consistency be maintained? How do we balance the tendency of some to be a little generous, with the fact that others possibly nominate too few for various reasons?

Or is the answer perhaps simple awareness of the opportunities (when was the last time you contacted your DC to suggest somebody to be considered?) coupled with awareness by line managers of the criteria and value?

Share your ideas for improvement

How can we increase the number of our volunteers being recognised externally for their immense contributions to their communities?

I would welcome any feedback and suggestions as we will be considering the subject at a meeting in the next couple of weeks.

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Inline _Downe

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