Staff Recognition Program
Non-monetary and Low-Cost Options
UNM staff play a valuable role in the University's success. Therefore, the University is committed to recognizing and rewarding staff members who demonstrate creativity and provide exceptional contributions to the University's teaching, research, and service mission. Recognition programs may be informal or formal, providing personal acknowledgment in a manner commensurate with the achievement. Recognition programs may include awards that are granted for significant, non-recurring tasks or accomplishments. These awards are separate from the performance review process, and allow for fiscally responsible recognition of exceptional individual or group performance throughout the year.
The staff recognition program focuses primarily on non-monetary or low-cost rewards which can be used for either individual or team recognition. This program is designed to appreciate, recognize, and motivate employees through the use of non-monetary or low-cost rewards such as being thanked publicly at a departmental function or having lunch with the head of the department. The desired outcome is to improve performance and to recognize the value employees bring to the organization. Non-monetary or low-cost recognition can be very motivating, helping to build feelings of confidence and satisfaction.
- Successful completion of probation or trial period
- Regular Staff
- .50 FTE and above
- Most recent performance evaluation rating was successful overall.
- Evaluation must be filed in official personnel file.
- Is in good standing, has no pending or documented disciplinary actions within the last 12 months
- Ensure the program meets Policy 3235: Staff Recognition Programs
- If applicable, each department is responsible for securing funding for their recognition program
- Determine communication methods used to ensure all eligible staff are aware of the program
- Establish and document nomination and evaluation criteria and process
- Identify program committee members
Create Your Program
All department Staff Recognition programs must be in accordance with the Antidonation Clause of New Mexico Constitution, UAP 2480: Incentives for Program Participants, UAP 3235: Staff Recognition Programs, and Policy 4000: Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures. Departments should consider the following when establishing a recognition program.
Determine program outcomes. Consider these examples:
- Improves unit/division/department goal attainment
- Supports a culture of “Workplace of Choice"
- Supports and values staff efforts in relation to the University’s Mission and Guiding Principles
Determine which practices will drive your recognition program.
- Is the recognition clearly linked to unit goals?
- Is it an open and fair process?
- Is it supervisory, peer-to-peer, or team recognition?
If you would like guidance or assistance in establishing your recognition program, contact your HR Consultant.
Samples of Recognition
No Cost Recognition
- Create recognition note cards and encourage employees to fill them out and send them to other employees.
- Arrange for the employee to receive a recognition letter from a department/division leader or a university official.
- Make the employee “Leader of the Month” (e.g., running meetings, etc.)
- Send a thank you card.
- Email acknowledgement to the employee documenting their exceptional service.
- Acknowledge the employee’s performance publicly in a meeting.
- Reward the employee with exposure on a taskforce or committee.
- Write an article about your staff and their accomplishments for the UNM Newsroom.
- Nominate someone to be featured on UNM Proud (http://unmproud.unm.edu/)
- Provide special opportunities to develop new skills and/or gain visibility in the organization through public recognition or new projects.
- Give high performers opportunities to build their professional experience and skills through job enrichment and cross-training.
- Provide coverage for a day while employee participates in training or job enrichment.
- Give employees more flexibility in their work schedule as business permits.
Funding of low-cost recognition is typically at the discretion of the department and should be discussed with appropriate leadership prior to recognition occurring.
Samples of recognition typically funded by a department include:
- Provide professional development opportunities (e.g. conferences, seminars, trainings, etc.)
- Pay for a professional journal subscription, or a professional affiliation membership in the employee’s field of interest.
- Recognize an employee once a quarter by passing an office trophy to be displayed in their office until the next award cycle.
Samples of recognition typically funded from employee/supervisor contributions include:
- Celebrate staff birthdays by providing cake once a month. Be sure to ask staff if they are interested in being recognized before initiating such a program.
- Offer a gift card or coupon for dining on or near campus.
- Decorate an employee’s office with balloons after a big project is completed.
- Engrave the employee’s name on a special plaque displayed at the front of your work area.