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In January we launched the new professional development guide that introduces a learning topic each month in 2022. This month’s topic is ‘Appreciation’ which focuses on highlighting and recognizing the work our team members do everyday. In June, focus on appreciating and celebrating the hard work of State of Missouri team members.

New this month is the one-stop shop for recognition for all State of Missouri team members, moppreciation.mo.gov. You can find the various ways different agencies and departments recognize their workforce. Looking for new recognition opportunities for your team? Look no further! You will also find that the site is publicly available and does not require a login - please share it wide and far! Special thank you to the Leadership Academy (cohort 7) and the Office of the Governor for implementing this important initiative.

Recognition has significant impacts on workplace culture. Recent studies have shown that recognition and appreciation have been key drivers in boosting employee engagement. We know that employees who are engaged are also retained, so this is a win-win for both productivity and retention. It is important that recognition goes beyond monetary rewards or one-off events. Instead, recognition and appreciation should be fully integrated in the workplace culture. Celebrate the small wins and the large victories. A meaningful, personalized gesture, of-the-month opportunity, or a simple "thank you" can go a long way. An even better approach is to ask peers, team members, and supervisors how they like to be recognized - not everyone appreciates public recognition, so other forms may be more appreciated.

The act of recognizing someone is not reserved for supervisors alone. It is open to everyone. Has a supervisor ever gone above and beyond to secure resources or has HR brought in a phenomenal speaker? These are opportune times to recognize their hard work, and it can be as simple as a shoutout in a meeting or an email after the presentation. And, don't forget your peers! As team members, it is important to recognize the work of each other as most of our roles rely on others to be successful.

In your ENGAGE conversation this month, encourage open conversation around recognition and appreciation. Below are a few example questions that may help steer that conversation.

1. Do you feel we have a culture of recognition amongst our team? How can we continue to works towards a regular culture of appreciation?

2. What is your ideal way to receive recognition? In public, in private, in writing...?

3. Do you have any accolades you would like to share about a colleague?

The new 2022 Learning Framework was developed by State team members, for State team members. Each month, we will highlight a new topic, one directly related to The Missouri Way Training Series. These trainings, along with ENGAGE conversation topics, live educational opportunities, and additional learning resources, are combined into one comprehensive package.

While participation is optional, our goal is to provide just the right amount of education so supervisors can meet their LDR goals, and all team members can meet their individual educational goals.