Ways to Recognize Staff:  Have You Said “Thanks” Today?

There are many good reasons to recognize your staff for their accomplishments and contributions.  Providing positive feedback can foster self-esteem, a positive work environment, productivity, good morale, and collaboration.

What deserves recognition?

  • Team or individual accomplishments
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Resolution of a difficult problem
  • Completion of a significant project that had a large impact on the group, campus, etc.
  • Efforts to assist a coworker
  • Resourcefulness
  • Use of innovation/creativity
  • Collaboration or cooperation
  • Other events relevant to your department’s success!

Who can recognize a job well done?

  • Managers
  • Peers
  • Customers

How to successfully recognize?

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a big budget to recognize a job well done.  Recognition comes in many forms.  Below are some suggestions for saying, “Thank you.”

No Budget, No Problem!:

  • Thank you notes – handwritten or electronic
  • E-cards
  • Communication of accomplishments in a staff newsletter/website
  • Reserved parking place
  • Casual Fridays
  • Public praise
  • Forward an email from a satisfied customer
  • Framed certificate

A little money:

  • Take employee to lunch
  • Bring breakfast to a meeting
  • Celebrate with cake
  • Award – a trophy or plaque
  • Give a gift card
  • Balloons or flowers
  • Early release
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Select an item that represents the accomplishment
  • Bonus

Formal recognition:
A formal recognition program establishes a consistent method to recognize staff on a regular basis for their achievements.  Programs may solicit input from multiple sources through a nomination process or simply prompt the manager to give consistent praise.  Some suggestions include:

  • Employee(s) of the Month/Quarter/Year
  • Service Anniversary Celebrations
  • Birthdays
  • Bonus Program

To recognize significant individual contributions, a promotion, title change, and/or salary increase may be appropriate. Human Resources can provide market data, assistance with job descriptions, and other items related to this option.

For additional suggestions or assistance with this process, contact Human Resources at or 336.758.4700.

Service Appreciation Program

At Wake Forest, Staffs’ continued service, dedication, and commitment to the University is appreciated! The Service Awards Program recognizes employees’ University service in increments of five years through retirement.  At each five-year milestone employees receive:

  • An invitation to the Staff Awards Luncheon – at this annual event employees dine, socialize and are recognized for their service.  Deadlines for events and gifts:  Each year a Staff Appreciation Lunch is held in October to recognize staff with service milestones of 5-year increments.  The cutoff date, for those recognized, is October 1st of previous year through September 30 of current year.
  • A gift recognizing years of service – an employee may select a gift from a collection of awards.  The value of the gift increases in proportion to length of service.

All regular full-time and part-time staff employees are eligible to receive awards.  Please support recipients from your areas as they are recognized.

Staff Employees of the Year- Staff members of the campus community may be nominated by supervisors and peers to be recognized as Staff Employee of the Year.  A selection committee chooses one Exempt and one Non-exempt Staff member for this honor.

Employees are selected on the basis of outstanding achievement or service to the University.

Employee of the Year winners are presented with a plaque and cash award at the Staff Awards Luncheon.  Regular full-time and part-time staff employees with five or more years of service may be nominated for this award.

(A link to the EOY nomination form, though maybe this should only be when we are accepting nominations; A link to a list of current award recipients)

Thirty Year Club

Staff employees who complete thirty years of service are inducted into the Wake Forest University Thirty Year club at the annual Staff Awards Luncheon.  Members of this club receive an engraved plaque to commemorate their service and yearly invitations to the Staff Awards Luncheon.

Opportunities for Advancement:  For more information on the promotion process click here.