Recognizing Employees and Volunteers

Colorado Cities & Towns Week is a great opportunity to recognize and thank the employees and volunteers who make your city or town so great. 

Free or minimal cost activities

Give employees and volunteers a gift.
CML will have a limited number of free clappers that read “You deserve a round of applause" to give to municipal employees and volunteers to thank them for their efforts. Employees or volunteers will smile and think about the difference they make in the community every time they see it sitting on their desks or in their vehicles. To make things even more fun, encourage employees and volunteers to take “selfies”  with the item and then post to social media (be sure to include the week's hashtag: #cocitiesandtowns). 

Feature employees or volunteers to residents on social media, website, municipal newsletter, or local media.

  • Introduce a group or department. 
    2017 highlights: The Town of Ridgway featured a different department each day on Facebook, introducing staff members and their duties, then combined each feature into one document and emailed it to residents and posted to the Town’s website.The Town of Limon held a luncheon for employees and featured the various departments on Facebook.The City of Woodland Park ran advertisements in the local newspaper thanking city workers.
  • Feature an employee or volunteer. Tell a story to personalize municipal workers. Maybe an employee spends each day fixing the municipal fleet, and spends free time playing in an orchestra or is an award-winning artist. Perhaps the mayor is a professional skateboarder. In addition to featuring him/her on social media, consider pitching the story to the media - news outlets are always looking for great and unique people to feature. For assistance, contact CML Membership Services Manager Lisa White.
  • Recognize a community leader. Community leaders include a past or present employee, board or commission member, or volunteer. Recognize your leader with a ceremony and a certificate. Then contact your local media about doing a feature story on the person(s) you have selected. 
  • Recognize longevity. Feature your longest tenured (or certain anniversary) employees in the municipal newsletter or social media. Present awards at a ceremony and engage local media to do a feature on them. 
  • Use your municipal newsletter to send a special message of thanks to all of the volunteers in your community. Total up how many hours they work annually and calculate the cost savings for the city/town if paid employees had to do those very important jobs. Volunteers save residents money and make the community a great place to live!
    2017 highlight: The Town of Gilcrest honored the Platteville/Gilcrest Fire Department and other volunteers for their efforts at the Weld Food Bank’s Mobile Food Distribution.

Use signs and bulletin boards.
Whether an old fashioned bulletin board or a fancy digital sign, post a thank you to your employees and volunteers. 

Send letters, emails, or certificates.
Provide employees and/or volunteers from recognition from the mayor, councilmembers, and/or manager/administrator thanking them for all that they do.  

Showcase staff at a council/board meeting.
Have various departments provide the city council/town board with updates on their latest projects and what they are most proud of. Ensure council expresses appreciation to employees for all of their hard work. 

Activities that require additional resources

Hold an event.
Provide an employee appreciation breakfast, picnic, or ice cream social - even include families if budget allows! For even more fun, consider incorporating interdepartmental competitions — host a chili cook-off, best dessert, etc. People love competitions! 

Provide treats.
Surprise municipal employees with treats during C&T Week. 
2017 highlight: Estes Park Town Administrator Frank Lancaster and Assistant Administrator Travis Machalek delivered pizzas to town staff.

Arrange an activity.
Arrange for a city/town employee day or night activity at a sports or cultural facility. It could include free or discounted admission for municipal employees and/or a special acknowledgement at intermission or half-time. Hosting an outing where employees (and their families, if budgets allow) go bowling; visit a zoo or museum; play baseball, softball, or kickball provides great physical activity.