CUL Recognition Program
Overview of the Program
Rewards and recognition provide an effective low cost way of encouraging higher levels of performance from employees. Taking time to recognize employee achievements lets employees know that they are valued and are an important part of our organization. Recognition is a great esteem builder and can help create workplace loyalty and build a sense of community.
Studies indicate that employees find personal recognition more motivational than money, in fact recognition for a job well done is the number one motivator of employee performance. Furthermore, while money is important to employees, what tends to motivate them to perform is the thoughtful, personal kind of recognition that signifies true appreciation for a job well done.
Cornell University Library’s recognition program has been created to give managers and supervisors the tools they need to effectively recognize and reward the accomplishments of their staff.
The recognition section includes:
- An explanation about what recognition events are held annually
- Details about recognition items available to supervisors and managers
- Suggestions for use of items
- Information about who is eligible to use these items for recognition purposes and who is eligible to receive them
- The procedure for securing a recognition item
- Additional suggestions for employee recognition including free alternatives as well as low cost and specialty items
Cornell and Library Recognition Programs
|Program Name||Eligible Employees||Program Information|
|Library Service Award Luncheon||Non-Academic Employees who have worked for the University for 10 or more years.|| Annual event hosted by the University Librarian each fall. Provides employees with a certificate to recognize their length of service starting with 10 years. Employees are invited to attend with their supervisor and department head.
|University Service Awards Recognition Dinner||Non-Academic Employees who have 25 or more years of service at the University|| Annual event hosted by Cornell University President each June. Each employee with 25, 30, 35 and 40 plus years of service is invited to bring a guest and be recognized with dinner, a gift and is featured in a booklet. After 40 years, the employee may attend every year and will continue to receive recognition gifts on their 45, 50 and 55 year anniversaries.
|Outstanding Performance Award||Non-Academic Employees nominated by their supervisor or library staff member|| Annual recognition award given during the Service Awards Luncheon to an outstanding performer who is nominated to receive the award. A supervisor or a staff member may submit nominations for individual or team efforts. The University Librarian will review the nominations and make final award(s) decisions.
|Fuerst Outstanding Student Employee Award|| Undergraduate Library Student Employees
|| Annual recognition presented to 5 student employees at a reception during the spring semester. All nominees are invited to attend. A committee of Library staff members reviews the nominations. Each winner receives a $500 award.
Recognition Items Available at the Library
“Great Job” Cards
Use when an employee exceeds your expectations by performing a part of their job really well. This can be used in conjunction with other recognition items.
Provided by Library Human Resources
Cornell Campus Store Gift Cards
($10 Value) or
Libe Café Certificates ($5 Value)
Use when an employee accomplishes something above and beyond his/her job duties. For example, initiating a new project, successfully taking on additional responsibility, coming up with a great idea which results in cost or time savings, or acting as a team leader or a positive role model for other team members.
Provided by Library Human Resources
|Cornell Library Store||
Demonstrate your appreciation as well as supporting CUL! Discover the depth and breadth of Cornell University Library's collections through our own Store’s unique selection of mugs, t-shirts, notecards, totebags, and more.
The department is responsible for the cost of these gifts.
These low cost specialty items are put together by Cornell Campus Life.
Library Tower Clock
Give this lasting token of appreciation to someone who has gone above and beyond their normal position duties.
Contact Library Human Resources to place an order.The department is responsible for the cost of the clock.
To request one of the items provided by Library Human Resources, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying the item requested, who it is for, and why you would like to recognize this person.
Who can use these items to recognize their good performers?
Managers and supervisors can give any of these items to their own staff for recognition purposes. If, as a manager or supervisor, you feel someone in another area deserves recognition, let his or her manager know.
Who can receive these items in recognition of their good performance?
Any of these items may be given to academic or non-academic employees. This program was designed to proved tools for staff recognition.
Steps in Recognizing Good Performance
Identify positive behavior to be reinforced - Look for things that your staff does well. Recognize individual performance as well as team efforts.
Link behaviors to Library or Department goals - Let your employees know why their job is important by linking their good performance to the achievements of Library and Department goals.
Consider behavior & employee when choosing recognition - When deciding how to recognize employees, think about what is appropriate by considering the behavior being recognized and also what the employee likes and values.
Deliver recognition - Effective recognition delivery contains the following elements:
Individual – recognize individual contributions even if the team is being awarded
Specific – tell your employee exactly what was done well
Unique – recognition that varies from the usual will be remembered more
Immediate – offer recognition close in time to the good performance
Procedure for Requesting Items
1. To Request one of the items provided by Library Human Resources, please send an email to email@example.com and specify who it is for, what they have done to deserve it and what item you would like them to receive. This note will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
2. The recognition Request will be reviewed and processed in Library Human Resources. Upon approval, the item you requested will be placed in campus mail within 24 hours.
Other Ways to Recognize Performance
Below are more suggestions of ways you can commend the exceptional performance of your staff. These suggestions are either free or are fairly low cost. Any cost incurred would come from your own individual department budget. Be creative when thinking about how to reinforce your employee’s positive behavior – try new things.
Free & Effective
- Call an employee into your office just to thank him or her; don’t discuss any other issues
- Write a letter of praise recognizing specific contributions and accomplishments. Send a copy to the employee's supervisor and send a copy to LHR for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.
- Write a personal note
- Share a compliment you heard about the employee from someone else
- Announce success at a department meeting or congratulate the employee in front of others
- Place a bulletin board in your area to be used for recognition purposes only (letters of appreciation, announcement of awards won, etc.)
- Ask staff member to help brainstorm a way to reward an employee – they will probably have some fun and creative ideas.
- Support “flex-friendly” schedules
Low Cost Alternatives
- Present a ribbon, plaque, certificate or award
- Pass an award from one employee to another for good performance as identified by the team
- Food: Bring in a cake, cookies, candy or homemade dessert creatively wrapped
- Take employee to lunch
- Plan an event or party for the department
- Take a photo of the employee performing the task that you would like to reward, put it in a paper frame and have the team members sign with words of praise
- Give the employee a lottery ticket
- Tie balloons to the employees chair
- Give the employee flowers
- Provide the employee with a 1 year membership to a professional organization
In addition to the above options, Library Human Resources has catalogs from local vendors with specialty items appropriate for recognition that can be ordered and delivered with a quick turn around time.