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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Guidelines and Helpful Hints to Recognize Employees

The Employee Recognition Program at Minnesota State Mankato is designed to help supervisors recognize and employees feel the value of their contributions to our university. Recognition of employees is a vital aspect to supervision and performance management:

How a recognition award is presented can be more important and meaningful than the award itself.

Excellent presentations spotlight the individual recipient and include these elements:

  • Plan a special event (decide when and where to hold the event; for example a Fall College Meeting; or department/staff meetings)
  • Invite others to attend as appropriate
  • Explain the award's significance
  • Involve others in the department in the presentation
  • Relate specific accomplishments that are relevant

Plan the Presentation & Get Feedback

  • Don't just wing it; think of your presentation in advance
  • Prepare others to speak, if necessary
  • Don't joke or kid around unnecessarily (too many things are misinterpreted)
  • Gather important details, e.g. how long the employee has been at the university and in what capacities
  • Respect the recipients wishes, e.g. privacy
  • Get feedback from the recipient and from others

Difficult Challenges

Some situations are more difficult than others, some suggestions include:

  • When the recipients' accomplishments are not easily identified or the recipient is an underachiever: Use specifics such as years of service. Focus on personal qualities such as reliability, friendliness, neatness, courtesy. Mention interests away from work, hobbies, or community involvement.

  • When the university is facing hard times: Focus on individual effort and contributions. Be honest about circumstances. Make sure the recipient knows he/she is still valued.

  • The recipient is shy: Create a quiet gathering and invite only the people the recipient selects. If the person is uncomfortable in any group setting, have others sign a card or other personal expression of appreciation to include with the award.

  • Great Words and Phrases to Use:

Learning new skills Tackling a problem Determined
Pitching in to help Cross-training another Effective
Making people laugh Accurate Efficient
Mediating a conflict dependable Fair
Volunteering Ambitious Forthright
Sharing information Appreciative Good natured
Customer service Attentive Sense of humor
Adaptive Considerate Independence
Willing Decisive Innovative
Practical professional Reliable
Optimistic Original Persuasive
Tolerant Steady Thorough
Resourceful Self-confident Self-starter
Mentoring a new person Cooperative kind

(O.C. Tanner Recognition Company has provided information for this web page.)