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 keychain tape measures that read “It's impossible to measure your impact” 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.
2016 highlights: Each day during Colorado Cities & Towns Week, the City of Brush! posted to its Facebook page pictures of its employees at work, featuring a different department each day. The City of Westminster used Facebook and Twitter to provide daily trivia and highlight four of its more than 1,000 volunteers, encouraging others to become engaged.
- 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.
2016 highlight: The Town of Estes Park profiled employees with 20-plus years of tenure with the town, and showcased different departments
- 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!
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.
2016 highlight: A local bank in the City of Lamar gave a "shout out" to celebrate the week on its digital sign.
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!
2016 highlights: The City of Sterling provided employees an appreciation lunch in Pioneer Park, where the city manager thank them for their service to the community. Employees at milestone years with the municipality were given special recognition. The City of Monte Vista held a community BBQ where each department provided information on its role in keeping the community running smoothly. The City of Wray held a staff appreciation breakfast, and the City of Federal Heights threw an employee appreciation party.
Surprise municipal employees with treats during C&T Week.
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.
2016 highlight: The Town of Milliken hosted "Employee Appreciation Day" at Elitch Gardens, bussing all employees and their families to the park to display how much municipal leaders appreciated their work.