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FAQ for Employee Recognition
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It is true. GSD has great employees who deserve recognition for their excellent performance. But, we humans tend to focus on the issues ahead of us rather than the good deeds behind us.
The following FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) are here to let GSD supervisors know that there are ways in GSD to recognize good work ranging from a “thank you” to plaques, trophies, lunches, speeches, photographs in newsletters, and gift certificates. Oddly, one way we “thank” good employees is by giving them more work . . . because they are so good and make us all look great.
What is “employee recognition” and its real purpose?
Isn’t is a “bad” practice to single out employees for recognition? Doesn’t that lead to morale problems among other employees who feel they deserve some of the credit?
Recognition is the supervisor’s tool to show appreciation for good work and encourage others to do the same.
How can I single out one or two of my employees for recognition (who deserve it), but do nothing for my other employees (who don’t deserve it)?
I have heard some supervisors say that a job and a paycheck is all the “reward” employees deserve, no matter how well they do their jobs. Shouldn’t we allow supervisors to decide how or when they recognize employees?
The City’s way of recognizing employees is a joke! Why not recognize employees by giving them bonuses or time off with pay?
So, what types of recognition are available for my employees?
Note: GSD Personnel Directive No. 6 gives details on GSD recognition programs.
What is the Career Service Award, and how do I get one for an employee?
The City Personnel Department asks department General Managers to nominate employees for this prestigious award once each year – usually around December or January. But, don’t wait until to nominate someone. You can write up your nomination any time, and send it to the Personnel Services Division (Room 307, City Hall South, Stop 508). Be sure to indicate that the write-up is for the Career Service Award.
Examples of past recipients of the Career Service Award, from GSD, include Lily Cornejo, Bill Mickow, Judy Jacobs, and Lendard Morris. GSD has been successful in having one or two of our employees receive the Career Service Award each year.
Recipients of the Award receive a beautiful, large, framed scroll from the Mayor and City Council.
What is the “MVP” and how can I recommend an employee for this award?
The criterion for this award is that the employee has completed or continues to perform an extraordinary work-related accomplishment. At the end of each “season” (quarter) the General Manager will select the recipient(s) from among nominations by supervisors and coworkers.
Recipients receive a framed plaque and a trophy or cup with the name, division and “season” engraved on it. The General Manager presents the award to the recipients at a gathering of managers, family and coworkers, and the employee’s name is added to a wood scroll in the Lobby of City Hall South.
I have heard mention of awards for working safely. Is there such a program in GSD, and how does it work?
I know about BBQ’s, the form for “Notice of Commendation”, appreciation days, and evaluations – to recognize employees. But, what is the “Special Commendation” referred to elsewhere in these FAQ’s?
Thus, GSD started the “Special Commendation” program. It is intended to recognize any outstanding employee or accomplishment, at any time. The recipient is awarded a beautifully framed scroll citing the accomplishments, signed by the General Manager and the Department Personnel Director and presented by the employee’s division manager.
If you have an employee who deserves more than a Notice of Commendation (maybe already has a number of them), you should recommend the employee for a Special Commendation. Your recommendation should go to your division manager for approval, and then to the GSD Personnel Director. Staff of Personnel Services prepares the scroll, gets it signed by the Personnel Director and General Manager, and has it framed. The framed scroll is given to the division manager for presentation to the employee, and a copy of the scroll is placed in the employee’s department personnel file.
I supervise five employees. One is outstanding, three are very good and one does not carry his weight. Would it be best to “recognize” the whole shop, all but one, or only one?
Most likely the three very good employees are going to have greater respect for you for recognizing the outstanding employee, and for dealing with the poor employee.
The nature of our work leads to letters from “clients” who appreciate what we do for them. Sometimes our employees solicit complimentary letters from “clients.” What is the GSD policy on what to do with these letters?
You want to make sure that employees who do good work are recognized for that good work. It is nice to receive letters from clients, but often these letters express gratitude and do not really reflect work above the call of duty.
Remember this principle; you, the supervisor, are in the best position to evaluate the work of your employees, not the clients. We do not want letters, especially those solicited by marginal employees, to become “commendations” in the department personnel files.
I noticed that you do not include the Suggestion Award program in the discussion on recognition. Why?
I am not comfortable with deciding the level of recognition. How am I supposed to know what level of recognition is warranted?
Knowing what is possible, and what has been done should help you decide the level of recognition you think appropriate. If you need more help, talk to your division managers and to your Liaison Analyst in Personnel Services.
What if an employee working for a different supervisor deserves recognition, what can I do?
I think the whole shop deserves special recognition for outstanding work under difficult conditions. Is there a way to recognize groups of employees (like a “unit citation”)?
If your division manager wants to explore a group Special Commendation, contact your Liaison Analyst in Personnel Services.
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