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Performance Recognition

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Our results—and how we achieve those results—are assessed regularly and recognized by managers within each school and unit. Individual and team performance is recognized in many ways, including verbal and written recognition from managers and co-workers, local awards, manager-driven appreciation, pay adjustments, and an annual process to set salaries. See also Workplace Recognition Tools for helpful tips and resources.

Recognition moments

Everyone likes to be recognized for their exemplary performance or extra effort. Managers know an individual’s performance best, so an important role of the manager is to ensure personal, timely and authentic recognition of behaviors. Of course, anyone in the workplace can recognize and share appreciation for colleagues and co-workers who:

  • Participate in or lead a team project as part of, or in addition to, their regular work
  • Achieve performance goals or other job-related results
  • Demonstrate extra effort that is not part of regular duties
  • Advance the university’s mission in some way
  • Demonstrate valued behaviors

HR Managers are key partners

Each school and unit’s performance recognition is overseen by the human resources manager, typically working with administrative officers and/or financial managers as appropriate. If you are a manager, review the guidelines to link staff performance to pay rewards.

Give effective performance feedback

Sharing recognition of performance-related accomplishments is not impactful if it’s only once a year in the performance review process. Check out these tips to give feedback on a continuous basis, to show you recognize and appreciate their work and their effort. Here are some general tips:

  1. Keep track of when you provide feedback. It can feel like we're always providing feedback, but it's possible you may not be saying out loud what you're thinking as often as you think you are. If you are a manager, frequency counts; some managers use an excel sheet or other tracker to help them monitor how often they're providing feedback and recognition to their team members.
  2. Be specific. Before sharing performance feedback, think about what specifically someone did to make a meeting, event, document, or interaction effective. Was it especially clear? Responsive? Timely? Efficient?  Supportive? Demonstrating valued behaviors? The more you think of specifics, the more you will notice times when that specific behavior or result is demonstrated.
  3. The contribution doesn't have to be big or over the top. Sometimes we feel a need to wait until the completion of a big project (or until year-end) to acknowledge great work. Hitting milestones, collaborating effectively with others, overcoming a barrier, or completing a project phase or other everyday moments that show excellence are all worthy of acknowledgment.
  4. Acknowledge barriers or failures as well. It can feel demotivating to work hard on a task or project only to encounter an unanticipated barrier, change in priority, or other hurdles that requires extra work or a change in direction. Acknowledging effort and "lessons learned" at these times can be an especially impactful type of performance feedback.