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The Creation of ‘Cleanslater of the Month’

To honor 30 years of Cara’s work to eradicate poverty, we are sharing the stories behind the rituals, milestones, and celebrations that have helped build the spirit of our community. In this story, Managing Director of Cleanslate, Brady Gott, shares how we recognize our standout Cleanslate workers with the Cleanslater of the Month award.

A Point of Pride

“We were a couple years into Cleanslate’s existence and we were really looking for an opportunity to build momentum among our crew members. Knowing that motivation is one of our organization’s core values, we wanted a way to celebrate the achievements of our crew members – something that displayed the excellent job they were doing and how they were advancing in their Cara journey.

“We thought about how our Crew Chiefs – the managers who our onsite with crew members – weren’t just supervising them on the job, but they were also coaching them and helping them grow personally and professionally.

“That was the idea behind honoring an individual crew member each month. This award has served as a monthly recognition for around ten years now. Through this ritual, staff and peers get to affirm a colleague for outstanding performance and encourage others to follow their lead.

– Brady Gott, Managing Director of Cleanslate
Cleanslate Crew, 2018

“It’s really become a rallying point for this community. That recognition really brings a sense of community around the fact that they are selected by their peers – it’s strength, it’s encouragement, it’s a rush of excitement. I really see that as a big part of the community building for our Cleanslate participants.

“This award became a real point of pride for each recipient – both in their confidence but also for their resume.”

Our Most Valued Lessons

“The monthly winner is chosen by two groups. First, they need to be one of the top three evaluation scores for the month. Evaluations are rooted in Cara’s Workplace Competencies -professionalism, communication, customer service, time management, and conflict resolution – and they are completed by staff each day a person works.

“That means, each recipient is recognized for executing on our most valued lessons we teach.

“The top three workers are then voted on by their peers. Pre-pandemic, it was during our Friday Motivations at the Cleanslate hub. The winner would receive the most thunderous applause and cheers. During the pandemic, we had to shift to virtual voting, so our workers receive a text with the three top candidates to vote on. All our workers have the opportunity to vote for who they believe is most deserving of this honor.”

Not Just Recognizing a Job Well Done

Brett Kube, Admissions Specialist for Cara, was named Cleanslater of the Month in February 2019:

“When I’d see other people getting it previously, I’d think, ‘That’s nice; this is legit; they are super pumped. I’m not sure if I personally would be so excited if I were to get the award.’ I was wrong.

“I received the award at the end of nine months of hard work. I had been working very hard, but I didn’t know what was to come. Winning this award helped me realize what my supervisors and peers really thought of me, and weeks later, I was on the other side as a Crew Chief.”

Brady Gott: “This is not just a way to recognize a job well done, it’s also helping people achieve in their Cara journey and become ready for their future job opportunity.

“We believe that people can be inspired by the performance of others. When new crew members see how a Cleanslater of the Month performs on the job, it can really motivate them to strive to do their best too.”

Photo 1: Brett K., Cleanslater of the Month: Feb 2019, Photo 2: Spring A, Cleanslater of the Month: Jul 2020, Photo 3: Antonio, Cleanslater of the Month: 2019

Your support ensures more rituals, milestones, and celebrations will be celebrated with our community over the next 30 years. Plus, for the month of September, all gifts made in honor of our 30th Anniversary will be matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 thanks to a generous gift from The Owens Foundation. Please click here to make a gift.