Recognizing staff for efforts, impact, and overall contributions, is a key way for managers to increase engagement and support performance. Managers may consider options for formal recognition through established programs, or create opportunities for informal recognition. Informal recognition is something every manager can incorporate into their team and serves to reinforce the most desired outcomes and behaviors. See ideas for formal and informal recognition below.
Formal staff recognition programs
- The Office of Human Resources honors and recognizes staff members for length of service, as well as for service excellence when going above and beyond their regular assignments. Learn more about our employee recognition nomination process.
- For example, some schools, such as The Graduate School (TGS), annually recognizes outstanding members of the community committed to service excellence. TGS does this through The McBride and Ver Steeg Awards. For more information on these honors or to review the nomination procedures, visit the Graduate School’s recognition awards home page.
Informal staff recognition
Understand individuals’ needs for recognition (especially non-monetary benefits) and how they like to be recognized.
- Post a thank you note on a staff member’s workspace where all can see it to recognize their contribution. Describe the performance you are recognizing.
- Write about a staff member in a team or department-wide email.
- Give a long lunch or extra break
- Honor team members at the start of a meeting (recognize someone at the start of every staff meeting).
- Post a “thank you” sign in a shared space with a staff member’s name on it. Describe the performance you are recognizing.
- Arrange for an organizational leader to stop by to say thanks.
- Buy treats and announce to the department that they are in the honoree’s office, and they should stop by to say hi and get one.
- Pick an unusual or funny object and place it on a staff member’s desk for a week.