The impact of recognition: Q&A with JoAnn Grantham, recognition program manager

March 22, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

As National Recognition Month rolls on, Headlines sat down with JoAnn Grantham, recognition program manager for Human Resources.

Grantham — who is part of HR’s Total Rewards team led by Hinke Jansen, C.C.P. — discussed the importance of recognition at Michigan Medicine and how her department supports individuals across the organization in carrying it out.

Here’s what she had to say!

Headlines: All month, readers have heard about ‘recognition.’ But what exactly does it mean?

JG: Employee recognition is the timely acknowledgement of an individual’s or team’s behavior or effort that supports the organization’s goals and values. That means the most effective forms of recognition happen in the moment, in context and are authentic.

Think of it as an opportunity to shape a positive culture where employees feel passionate about where they work and what they do. We all have the power to create that culture right here at Michigan Medicine.

Headlines: Why is recognition so important at Michigan Medicine?

JG: Creating a culture in which people want to stay and recommend others to come and work here — especially at a time when we are expanding our reach in the community — should be everyone’s priority. Faculty and staff are our biggest asset and one of the ways in which we can remain an industry leader in health care is by taking care of our own. Appreciation is an effective (and inexpensive) way to do just that.

While we have made great strides in increasing the visibility of our recognition programs, over and over again surveys of our faculty and staff show that recognition is an area that we have an opportunity for growth. That’s why Human Resources is reimagining our current programs and why we’re excited to be introducing new initiatives in the year ahead.

On a more general level, studies have shown that a culture of gratitude and appreciation leads to increased productivity, improved employee engagement, reduced turnover and higher patient satisfaction. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms that they are valued, driving them to be more innovative and helping move the organization forward.

Headlines: What tools does Human Resources provide to help with recognition?

JG: For leaders, established institutional programs are a good start to creating the culture I mentioned. Encouraging staff to go to events like the Employee Appreciation Breakfast and Dinner or celebrating service award milestones are quick wins.

Departments can also encourage their staff to complete a Making a Difference form for colleagues. On our website, there are other resources that can help you get started or refresh your department’s recognition initiatives.

Finally, myself along with a team of dedicated volunteers from the Michigan Medicine Employee Recognition Committee can help you execute programs and events in your department. Just send me an email and we can schedule a time to get your recognition efforts into full swing!

Headlines: What are some things that faculty and staff can do themselves to increase recognition in their areas?

JG: Everyone has a part to play in creating a culture of recognition.

Ask yourself a simple question: Who inspires you? Once you’ve answered that, look for an opportunity to celebrate those individuals in your department. Take time to thank someone for doing a great job … fill out a Making a Difference form … applaud small successes.

Our goal at Michigan Medicine is that every one of our 28,000+ community members feels valued in some way for the role they play in all areas of the institution. That can only be done if we each make an effort to recognize those who inspire us. It starts with you!