One year of True Blue: U of T faculty and staff send more than 750 messages of recognition to each other in the month of May

Donna Joseph, Pooja Malhotra and Mariaveronica Sayewich were among more than 1,000 individuals working at U of T who sent and received a True Blue recognition last month.

June 14, 2019

Faculty and staff across all three campuses at U of T sent more than 750 True Blue messages of recognition to their colleagues throughout the month of May.

The Division of Human Resources & Equity held a promotional campaign last month to celebrate the one-year anniversary since the launch of the True Blue Recognition Platform at the University. The platform enables members of the U of T community to express their gratitude for a colleague’s outstanding efforts in an everyday moment or situation. It also sends a notification to both the recipient and their supervisor to help ensure that each colleague’s contributions are fully celebrated.

“It is important to show our appreciation for our coworkers as part of our day-to-day practices,” said Erin Jackson, U of T’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “Openly expressing how much we value one another’s contributions helps to advance a culture of gratitude and inclusion that makes U of T a great place to work and learn for everyone.” 

HR Project Coordinator Pooja Malhotra also believes in conveying appreciation for the efforts that coworkers put in to helping one another. She sent a True Blue to Emmy Cummings, an HR Information Analyst, during the month of May to recognize her colleague’s efforts during their work together to execute a series of change management and process optimization tasks.

“Recognizing colleagues creates an environment that allows for collaboration, team work, and a sense of value. It also makes me feel happy and proud that I have the opportunity to work with great people every day,” said Malhotra. “This platform lets us express our thanks to coworkers in a meaningful yet simple way, and it’s easy to use!”

For some individuals who received True Blues, the sense of joy it brings makes their workday brighter and also reminds them to extend the positive feeling to others.

“Seeing a True Blue recognition badge appear in my inbox makes me feel fulfilled in my work and happy that I made someone’s day a little better in some way,” said Mariaveronica Sayewich, Digital Project Manager in the Division of University Advancement.

“I think about how my colleague intentionally took the time out of their day to make me feel special and it empowers me to give the same acknowledgement to others around me. The fact that these badges also notified my supervisors is another perk because it gives them an insight into my attitude and competence that they may not have seen before.”

Some members of the U of T community also appreciate the fact that the True Blue platform enables them to recognize colleagues and enhance professional relationships across different areas of the University. Donna Joseph, Manager of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer in the Division of Student Life, sent a True Blue to Sayewich to thank her for sharing her U of T knowledge and experience on building formal policies and procedures, even though they work in different organizational units.

“Our institution is huge, and it takes time and effort to share our skills and experiences with our colleagues,” said Joseph. “At the end of the day, we are all in this work together. I am grateful that Mariaveronica made herself available and I’m glad that there is a resource I can use to recognize her exemplary organizational citizenship.”

Each month, recipients of the best True Blue recognitions are selected to win points on the platform that are redeemable for prizes valued at $50. To celebrate the platform’s first anniversary during the month of May, ten additional $50 prizes were awarded to those who recognized their colleagues on the platform.