Janet Keena doesn't do anything in an "ordinary" fashion. When she recognizes her volunteers, she always strives for above and beyond. As Volunteer Coordinator for the Mount Prospect Public Library in Mount Prospect, Illinois, Janet is responsible for an annual appreciation event for over 100 library volunteers.
"We annually throw a special brunch in their honor to say thank you for their services," she explains. The brunch includes a meal, group mingling game, and speeches. The entire event revolves around a comprehensive theme, which is followed down to every minute detail.
In a past year, Baudville’s Essential Piece theme guided her event. "We get your catalog at the library, and I really liked the Essential Piece," Janet says. "Everything just fell into place from there."
When Janet plans an event, ambience is everything. "I really want to make it special, and I was very pleased with how the room looked," says Janet. To complement the Essential Piece theme, Janet created several of her own supplies, including paper puzzle piece placemats and puzzle piece cookie bouquets. The room was decorated in red, orange, yellow, and purple – colors Janet pulled from the Essential Piece artwork.
Her efforts did not go unnoticed. "Oh, the volunteers loved it, loved everything. They loved how the room looked, the theme, and the gifts," says Janet. Waiting at each place setting was an Essential Piece memo clip and note cube. Janet’s volunteers appreciated the gifts because they could be put to use at home or in the office. "You don’t give a gift just to give something. The gifts they got could be easily utilized at home," she says.
By using one of Baudville's themes Janet's planning and preparation processes were simplified. "You have really nice quality items, and I appreciated all that you did for me," says Janet. When asked if she would use a comprehensive Baudville theme for a future event, Janet replied, "Definitely. I always check you out for new ideas."
Each year, Janet’s appreciation brunch is a fun and memorable event for the Mount Prospect Library volunteers. "It was one of my favorite brunches," she says of the Essential Piece event.
Janet's yearly event addresses her volunteers' desire for praise and recognition. Expressing appreciation for someone's contribution is critical for them to feel good about what they do and encourage them to continue the behavior. Holding a special event in honor of volunteers or employees is a special way to acknowledge their contributions that won’t be quickly forgotten.