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jdgent1's picture Jon Gent
UK Staff Senate Chair
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Distinguish appreciation from recognition

Sometimes we use appreciation and recognition interchangeably, but they're different and employees need both. While appreciation is important all the time, recognition is earned and deserved based on a milestone, achievement or specific contribution. Most simply put, appreciation is about who people are and recognition is about what they do.

Public recognition or private?

Recognition can be public or private and different people often have preferences. One-on-one recognition gives someone valuable information about what they're doing well and public recognition is valuable for both the person being recognized as well as building overall morale and a positive culture among the team. Personalize the employee experience for by asking individuals about their preferences for being recognized.

Why give recognition?

Taking the time to recognize employees pays off in many ways.

  1. Recognition focuses on employees on the goals that matter
    For example, you could recognize high performing employees for exceptional customer focus.
  2. Recognition creates a positive work culture
    Create a culture in which employees want to be and do their best.
  3. Recognition could help employees further their careers
    It provides an opportunity for employees to be further reviewed in the event of a promotion.

More recognition means more...

If you have these goals for your team already, making recognition a habit will help you get there faster.

  1. More emotional commitment and innovation among your team
    Increases emotional commitment and innovation on the department, division, college, and university level.
  2. More ability to grant deserved promotions
    Leverages recognition of high performers to enhance the ability to promote successful candidates.
  3. More high performers and better results
    You'll see higher performance of employees and better end results, including customer satisfaction, productivity and turnover.

5 ways to recognize your employees

1. On-the-spot recognition

Say thank you/great job immediately, either in person or in writing.

2. Reward results

Did someone go well beyond a great job? Say thank you with a small token of appreciation.

3. Celebrate years of service

Recognize the contributions someone has made over time to the university. Order official pins for years of service!

4. Create your own award at the level of your division, college, team, etc.

Because Staff Senate hosts the university-wide Outstanding Staff Awards, we're often asked how to start your own award program. Check out our award best practices.

5. Ensure your award winners are also recognized at our Outstanding Staff Awards

Don't forget you have a built-in extra recognition opportunity from Staff Senate. Simply tell us who won your award and they'll be recognized by us too. We host the annual Outstanding Staff Awards to recognize — at the university level — all of the winners of awards specific to colleges and divisions.

All gift items and employee awards should follow the application of the University Business Procedure: E-7-12: Employee Awards when applicable.