Bet on your staff, and everyone wins! If you apply this simple staff-recognition strategy, your staff will know that you value a job done well.


Recognize the behaviors you want to see more of in your program. Be specific by providing examples to demonstrate you have actually witnessed the behavior. Take the time to walk around your program and observe programming in action, so that you can acknowledge staff behavior in the moment. Hearing praise secondhand does not have the same impact.


The effect is the impression the behavior had on you or the program. Make sure that you not only recognize the desired behavior as it is occurring, but also tell the staff member how it made you feel to be part of the experience or to witness their extra effort. Explain the overall impact it has on your program when a job is performed well. Consider recognizing the staff member on a bulletin board or during a meeting in front of her peers. If parents, other staff or the children point out a staff member who is doing something well, be sure to make it a big deal!

Thank You

Say a clear "thank you," letting the staff member know how much you appreciate the extra effort. Use specific examples and be sincere. If you simply say a general thank you to a staff member, he may be thinking, "What for?" You could thank the person verbally, but a written note makes for a nice reminder. You can have the students write a thank-you note, too! Just make your thank you public, so that other staff may follow suit.

When staff members feel valued and appreciated for their hard work, they experience increased productivity, have greater satisfaction in their work and have increased positive interactions with students and families. This strategy is an effective way to recognize your program staff for their work and achievements!