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jdgent1's picture Jon Gent
UK Staff Senate Chair
College or Department
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Recognition can feel most meaningful when it happens among the co-workers you work with every day.

There are many reasons to create an award at the level of your division, college or even your team. Consider the morale boost getting recognized provides for individuals, and how awards set and reset the bar for continued achievements among the entire group. 

Because Staff Senate hosts the university-wide Outstanding Staff Awards, we're often asked by leaders how to start an award program in their area.

Award best practices

How often?

Most current awards given at the division and college level are either quarterly or annually given. Strike the balance between too often and not often enough that's right for your group.

Who decides?

Most of these awards are usually decided by a committee or the area's staff council. There are many benefits to a group, rather than a single individual, selecting award recipients.

What is it for?

Awards can be defined in many ways. Consider connecting the award to a specific focus in your department such as customer satisfaction. Keep in mind different employee groups, such as exempt or non-exempt status and ensure everyone is eligible to win. You might create separate award categories so all employee groups have an opportunity to win.

Level up your award

Whether the award is brand new or after it's become established, continuing to elevate the award experience helps keep it fresh and meaningful. Here's how;

  • Honor all of your nominees.
    Find a way that resonates with your group to give this recognition, whether personally meaningful, showy or otherwise.
  • Hold a ceremony.
    This could simply be included in an existing meeting or created as a distinct, organized event.

Tell Staff Senate who won your award

We'll help you recognize your award winners by inviting them to receive university-level recognition at the Outstanding Staff Awards. All you need to do is fill out the nomination form we make available before the annual Outstanding Staff Awards ceremony is held. The Office of the President and the UK Staff Senate sponsor the Outstanding Staff Awards to recognize the professional accomplishments of staff across the university, and the work of their colleges and units.