How do you give recognition?

I supervise a small staff in res-life.  One of the things my group does, which is standard at this institution (and many other institutions) is to fill out a weekly report.  On the weekly report, staff have the option to fill out a section called “Staff Recognition.”  In this (optional) section, the staff member has the opportunity to recognize a fellow student staff member.  I’d guess about 2/3rds of our staff do this on a weekly basis.  The form itself just asks for the person’s name & then what they are being recognized for.  Staff members will recognize each other for everything from great programs to helping study for an exam to giving one another a cookie.  The gambit is huge.  

However, when this information is written down, it only goes directly to the supervisor.  So, when my RA Brady writes something down, I am the only person who reads it!  I have always tracked this information.  (I have a tracking sheet where I record how many times individuals recognize others & lots of other data)

One of the other supervisors started something last year which was HUGE!  She would email the student who was recognized and cc the supervisor.  So, if Danielle recognized Brady, then Brady would get an email & I’d be cc’ed in on it.  The email might say: “Hey Brady! You were recognized this week on Danielle’s weekly report! Way to go!”

It’s a little thing, but getting this type of email mid-week is sure to make someone smile.

I think this helps to build the team, helps to encourage staff, helps to keep me in the loop, but also is just a very little thing that makes our team better.

What kinds of little recognition efforts does your team/staff/supervisor do?


3 responses to “How do you give recognition?

  1. I think this is a great idea, Brian! I’m responsible for recognition at DePauw and we just started something called “FROG Notes.” FROG stands for For Recognition of Greatness. We use them to recognize our student leaders for the contributions that they bring to their job. It could be something as simple as helping out with a program or covering duty. Student’s really like the personalized touch of it being handwritten.


  2. Brian, I do the same exact thing! We use google docs for our weekly reports- so this helps with the tracking since it inputs directly into an excel spreadsheet. My RAs have said that it helps to receive those emails, especially if they’ve had a hard day.

  3. It would be neat, also, if you saved up ALL of the mentions of the student on the weekly reports for something at the end of the year. What a great way to show what an impact you’ve had on the people around you!

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