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Dean's Blog: A culture of meaningful recognition

Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm
Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

It’s been almost 6 months since I’ve joined Mason’s College of Science and it seems crazy to me that I still may have only met some of you by Zoom or shared my thoughts with you about this organization within this blog. Of course, I’d have much preferred to connect with you during face to face meetings.

Despite the virtual nature of our workplace, thanks to the annual Dean’s Awards to be shared at next Tuesday’s Celebration of Success, I feel I’ve gotten to know a good bit more about the excellent work being done by many across the college.

I was excited to review the names of 100-plus nominations for more than 60 candidates for the 9 awards. Thanks to the Award Nominating Committee  for sorting through the submissions as all efforts are worthy. Thank you also to the people who took time to nominate their peers for you are driving the culture of positive recognition so critical to our organization during this time of tremendous and unprecedented change. 

I’ve significantly expanded the awards this year, not just because this was an unusual year, but also because I believe meaningful employee recognition is a cornerstone of a healthy, growing organization.

Why is it critical to take time to nominate and celebrate such good works?

According to an analysis of employee recognition from an article in the International Journal of Human Resource Management, “some highlight the essential nature of employee recognition as a vector of motivation, identity, and component of meaningful work. It also proves to be pivotal to workplace mental health. In fact, Brun and Biron et al. (2003) reveals that a lack of recognition constitutes the second-largest risk factor for psychological distress in the workplace.”

Furthermore, “one of the most important sources of organizational mobilization and engagement, recognition plays a key role in the success and continuity of organizational change, promotes on-the-job learning and is a building block of learning organizations. Finally, by contributing to employee job satisfaction, it has a positive impact on organizational productivity and performance,” regardless of a person’s job status or type. Many consider ‘recognition of their efforts’ as the most important organizational practice in their workplace.

I enthusiastically invite you to attend the Celebration of Success. It will be good to see each other (even if it’s only virtual). Although we will single out a good number of above and beyond efforts by our coworkers from this past year, I also encourage you to not wait for this annual event to share kudos with your teams. Let’s develop the natural practice of sharing kudos on a more regular basis. In times like these, a kind word can go a long way.

Visit the Dean's Blog for more insights from Dean Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm.