I must tell you about one of the most uplifting events in my entire working life.
It was run by an organisation called Jewish Care and it was called the 'Celebration of success'.
First of all a little background…. Jewish Care are a large provider of social care consisting of some 1200 employees and approximately 3000 volunteers. Once a year every year they host an evening celebrating the vocational qualifications that their staff have achieved during the year. There are also awards for long service, and dedicated awards whereby people are nominated for going beyond the call of duty in their role.
Now most organisations celebrate their high achievers – I myself have been lucky enough to attended various sales achiever events down the years in exotic climes. However this different. These awards are not celebrating business success, they are celebrating learning success. They are for workers - many of whom are front line care workers - who have chosen to study as part of their role, who may have done - for example an NVQ (or equivalent) - and then gone on to pass. It is one night dedicated solely to rewarding people who want to learn, who have committed time to the effort and achieving a qualification. This is not about celebrating a major donation, a successful project, a new care home opening or a new service being offered. Just learning and the desire to learn.
These people may well never go on to be corporate leaders, line managers or even anywhere above their current pay grade however on this night they are the stars. It’s their night in the spotlight. Award receivers are encouraged to dress up in national dress (many people in the care profession are from various Asian or African countries) the organisation lays on fantastic food, drink, a guest speaker and for many of these people it’s the biggest night of their working lives. In the spotlight for perhaps for the only time but in it none the less.
Yes there is the obligatory photo with the CEO and various members of the board of trustees however a special mention for these people too. This is not a ‘must do’ event on a calendar full of other ‘must do’ events. The entire hierarchy of the organisation fully immerse themselves into the spirit of the evening, making heartfelt speeches and offering sincere appreciation and thanks to their troops on the front line. One company aligned top to bottom around the power and value of learning.
I love it!