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Monday, March 5, 2012

Employee Recognition Program Focuses on Values

Monday, March 5, 2012

If you work for the city of Santee, you don’t have to rescue somebody from a burning building to be recognized as an exemplary employee.

Under the city’s Values in Motion Program, excellence at the workplace can be an action large or small, sustained or short-lived.

“You don’t have to save the world,” said City of Santee Human Resources Director Jodene Dunphy.  “It’s not about what you did, it’s how you did it.”

Thus, a secretary can be acknowledged for helping a co-worker or a customer. A backhoe operator can get kudos for his gritty work during a winter storm. A firefighter can be honored for his ingenuity in fixing a broken flood light on a fire truck.

The program was created in 2004 to foster team building and reinforce core values that support the city’s mission to serve the public.

It works like this: Workers are nominated by their peers, not necessarily their supervisors. There’s no quota. Sometimes there’s only a few nominations. At other times, there’s a bunch. An employee committee meets monthly to review the nominations. Nominees are acknowledged at a meeting where the nominator recounts the story of what prompted them to appreciate the performance of their fellow employee. At the end of the year, all the nominations are reviewed and the finalists are selected. The award recipients, who are feted at a ceremony at City Hall, are awarded a diamond-shaped trophy. There are no bonuses or prizes. It’s purely about reinforcing the integrity that motivates workers to do their best.

“In an era when budget cuts have forced us to do more with less, recognizing workers for doing their jobs well reinforces the type of values and “can-do” work ethic we try to nurture here at City Hall, ” said City Manger Keith Till. “Shared values in pursuit of a common purpose bring people together and create a culture that makes us feel like we're more of a family than merely a workplace.”

Recipients of  Santee’s Values-in-Motion Awards for 2011, which were announced Feb. 28, are:
  • Administrative Secretary Debbie Daunis, Community Services Dept.
  • Equipment operator Mark Ethridge, Public Services Division
  • Development Services aide Evan Lee-Fook
  • Fire Capt. John Garlow
  • Fire Capt. Jim Huson
  • Fire Engineer Aaron Bagley
  • Fire Engineer Eddie Adame

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