Author: Matt Debnam,
In her role as warden at Caswell Correctional Center, Doris Daye sees acts of greatness every day. As a leader, she understands just how important it is to recognize and reward employees who go above and beyond their duties. Every month, Daye reaches into a jar and pulls out a card with an employee’s name on it. That person, along with the others in the drawing, was at some point “caught in the act of greatness” by co-workers and supervisors at the facility.
“Before I started working with the department, I was a security officer out in the RTP area,” Daye said. “I observed one of the HR people doing this and saw how the staff was just excited to get one of these cards for doing something great.”
While the prize for the drawing is simple – a Subway gift card paid for by the warden herself – Daye says that the competition has multiple positive impacts. Not only does it show individual employees that their efforts are seen and appreciated, but it also motivates the staff as a whole to strive for greatness.
“It’s very important to me, because I know how I feel when my supervisors recognize me for doing something great,” Daye added. “Working for NCDPS, you have to have a special love for this job. It’s not just about money. It’s about affecting people’s lives. … It means a lot to me that my staff feels appreciated.”
The most recent drawing winner, Correctional Officer George Nicols, shows his dedication by working hard, without complaining. In January, Nicols went above and beyond to help his colleagues, earning a place in the March drawing.
After a cluster of offenders tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility, he voluntarily stayed on after his day shift to help night
shift COs separate positive offenders from the rest of the population. Daye says in addition to recognizing employees like Nicols, the initiative has been an overall morale booster for her staff, fostering friendly competition between staff members to see who can get their names entered in the drawing most often. That in turn leads to better performance.
“There are two things being accomplished,” Daye said. “They are enjoying what they’re doing and making sure that they’re doing their job. At the same time, our core values and our mission is being accomplished. They’re really going out there to find the contraband, they’re reporting to work and their sense of observation is increased. It’s just that extra push that gets them.”