Employee Recognition

Staff members are honored and recognized throughout the year for achieving various lengths of service, as well as for service excellence when going above and beyond their regular assignments. Here is information about each program, as well as details on how to recognize your fellow employees for their service.



Length of Service Recognition

Staff members who have dedicated many years of service to Northwestern are those whose knowledge, expertise, and mentoring is sought out, and they deserve gratitude and recognition.

Northwestern staff members receive a gift for every five years of continuous service. At the monumental milestone of 20 years of service, and every five years thereafter, staff members are recognized publicly at the Staff Service Recognition Luncheon held annually. 

View photos from the 39th Annual Staff Service Recognition Luncheon



Employee of the Year


Employee of the Year 2017 Nominations

Nominations for the 2017 Northwestern “Employee of the Year” award has closed.  

The 2017 Northwestern “Employee of the Year” awards will recognize seven staff members across the University, including Qatar, as finalists who have consistently produced extraordinary outcomes and have provided strong customer service delivery. One of the seven finalists will be selected as the “Employee of the Year” winner at the annual Staff Service Recognition Luncheon, Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

Finalists from past years and staff members that have been employed at least three years, are in good standing, and have not previously been named “Employee of the Year” within the past five years are eligible for nomination.


Past Employee of the Year Awardees

On Tuesday, May 10th, 2016, one hundred and thirty-eight honorees were recognized at the 39th Annual Staff Service Recognition Luncheon along with the 2016 Employee of the Year winner and finalists. Congratulations to all of the honorees! Please click on the link below to view the 2016 Employee of the Year finalists and winner.

2016 Employee of the Year Finalists and Winner

Past Employee of the Year Winners Archive


Workshop:  Writing Compelling Employee of the Year Nominations

HRD545 Writing Compelling Employee of the Year Nominations

Is there someone in your department who goes above and beyond his or her normal duties, is dedicated and effective, and deserves to be recognized? Has he or she worked full time at Northwestern for three or more continuous years? If you've answered yes to both those questions, then this class is for you. In one lunch-time session, you will learn how to write an Employee of the Year Nomination that is both specific and meaningful. By the end of the class, you will be able to:

• Make sure your candidate is qualified
• Identify what makes a successful submission
• Use concrete examples to make your case
• Write a clear, concise, and compelling submission

Workshops for fiscal year 2018 will be announced in November 2017.


If you have any questions regarding Employee of the Year, please contact Maudell Gaines at maudell-gaines@northwestern.edu or 847-491-7509.



Service Excellence Awards

For times when “thank you” just isn’t enough — when a staff member went above and beyond the call of duty to complete a task or meet a goal — there’s the Service Excellence Award. Any member of the University community may nominate an employee for the award. The supervisor reviews the nomination form to confirm that the award is deserved. A staff member may be recognized numerous times, even in a single year, and many have been.

Quarterly Service Excellence Luncheons 2017
Service Excellence Luncheons are held quarterly throughout the year to recognize award recipients. The next Service Excellence Luncheon will be held Thursday, May 11, 2017. 

To nominate a staff member, download a Service Excellence Nomination FormMS Word Document and email it to Maudell Gaines at maudell-gaines@northwestern.edu.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Maudell Gaines at maudell-gaines@northwestern.edu or 847-491-7509.



Excellence in Sustainability Awards

As Northwestern University pursues its commitment to leadership in sustainability, the Office of Sustainability is partnering with the Office of Human Resources – Employee Recognition to acknowledge those who go above and beyond in greening our campuses and our curriculum. Students, faculty, and staff members are eligible for the Excellence in Sustainability Awards and will be recognized at the Quarterly Service Excellence Luncheons. Visit the Office of Sustainability website to learn more about the awards and nomination process.