Clears throat…I just want to say…

Diolch / Thank You

We often forget the power that a simple thank you or recognition has on a staff member or colleague.

Today, we’re sharing a glimpse into the reaction we had when we surprised nominees of our recent Cleveland Police Staff Awards to tell them that they had won. The categories included leadership, innovation and problem solving, ethics, the student officer award and policing through the pandemic.

We had 86 nominations across the Force, showcasing our talent and achievements by individuals and teams. Given the year we had with the pandemic, it was important to me to still be able to thank staff in this way. You can see the video below – I hope it brings a smile to your face!

Saying thank you and recognising good work is something that I advocate in the Force and beyond. There’s also a tonne of research that shows clearly that thanking one person has a positive impact beyond that one individual too and extends to the wider team. But this isn’t about research; it’s about reinforcement – reinforcement of the behaviour we want to see.

Giving feedback should feel safe at any point in a person’s career but I understand why some feel more able to do so when they’re moving on. Last Friday, I started my day meeting with a member of staff who was leaving to work elsewhere, and I asked them what the best thing about Cleveland Police and there was no hesitation in their answer:

“I’m thanked for doing my job or when I help somebody out. It makes a massive difference.”

That brought a smile to my face.

I often tweet pictures of thank you letters and notes that I receive to tell me about the work of staff, and I also share the cards that I write to the workforce. I do this to project to the public the positivity and good work that goes on here at Cleveland. The cards and letters from the public arrive every week and its important that staff see the positive comments the public share – it’s a huge morale boost.

Our internal Job Well Done site where members of staff can post a thank you or positive comment about a fellow staff member is incredibly popular and has received 1000’s of readers and hits.

I also noted in the positive comments made about Cleveland Police last week by HMICFRS  that they evidenced the way we thank staff for the work they do. It seems so simple doesn’t it? I wonder if you’re up for a small ‘paying it forward’ experiment with me?

If you’re a police officer, staff member or volunteer at Cleveland Police, I’d encourage you to think about who has helped you over the course of the last week on a small task or perhaps someone who’s had a positive impact on your career over the years and thank them for what they’ve done. They may have never realised the impact that they have had on you or your work.

It won’t take you long and it’s a means of multiplying the effect that saying thank you has across the organisation – one condition though – make sure it’s meaningful and specific!

If you’re reading this blog as a member of the public, I’d encourage you to do the same thing, pick someone in your life to thank for something they’ve done for you when they really didn’t have to. The world needs more people who reach out to each other to be kind now and again.

It sounds so easy doesn’t it; picking up the phone or calling across a room to say ‘thank you’ but it can feel awkward and rest assured, doing it is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of real strength.

I’ll go first…

Thank you to the public of Cleveland who’ve stuck by us during the hard times – our improvements are not an internal triumph – everything we do to improve services are about you and keeping you safe.

Diolch o galon / Sincere Thanks

Richard Lewis, Chief Constable

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