Choate House on the Pace Pleasantville campus

Employee Appreciation Toolkit

Human Resources, in partnership with University leadership, is providing University-wide engagement opportunities as well as programs for ongoing employee appreciation.

Each week we are going to focus on a different pillar of appreciation:

Please see the Employee Appreciation Toolkit below and plan time now to recognize your employees weekly with activities related to each of these themes for appreciating your employees.

Employee Appreciation Toolkit

Many of the listed activities may be completed via in-person or virtually. Please note that when in-person, all activities must abide by the University’s safety guidelines.

Appreciation Through Recognition

Here are a few ways you can create a culture of employee appreciation by focusing on recognition:

  • Set calendar reminders to give weekly recognition to colleagues. Support and give praise that is timely, specific, and tied to impact.
  • Submit a nomination for the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution via the 2022 Special Award Nomination Database.
  • Hold a Team Appreciation meeting, virtually or in-person. Managers can recognize team members to let them know that they are appreciated. Personalize the meeting and make it meaningful by sharing examples of the contributions of each team member.
  • Create a “thank you” card to recognize peers with a personal touch. Ellacard or Thankbox allows for fun and creative options.
  • Encourage colleagues to recognize peers from different departments.
  • Adopt Thankful Thursdays during March and beyond! Make the spirit of thankfulness an important component of leadership. Designate Thankful Thursdays as a time to take a moment to recognize colleagues. This can be done with a YES I Make It Happen nomination, phone call, or email. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Kindness and empathy count big time and are essential to a positive work environment.

Consider this statistic:

  • 81% of employees report working harder and being happier when they are recognized at work.

More Ways to Show Appreciation Through Recognition

Work Anniversary
Recognize your employees for their work anniversaries by getting together on Zoom or in-person to share work memories with your colleagues. Initiate a “meeting” with the honoree and team members. Ask team members to think of one work memory they would like to share with that person. It’s a fun, meaningful way to surprise the honoree!

YES I Make It Happen
This program allows you to nominate faculty, staff, and student workers online, on the spot. Those recognized, along with their supervisors, receive an email notification sharing the recognition and a printable certificate. Each month, all those nominated within that given month, are entered into a random movie ticket raffle. Learn more about the YES I Make It Happen program.

Special Awards
Nominate colleagues for the President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution! The database opens each year on National Employee Appreciation Day, which occurs on the first Friday of March. Learn more about special awards.

Recognition Ceremonies
The Annual Employee Recognition Ceremonies recognize staff, faculty, and student workers for special accomplishments as well as years of service at the University. Individual honorees receive a certificate as well as a gift from the University’s recognition vendor. Those colleagues with 30+ years of service at the University have the option to order a chair with Pace seal and personalized inscription. Winning teams receive individual certificates. Names of all honorees are posted on the HR website via Portal notification.

Bell Ringing
Ring the bell when a team member does something worth celebrating! This is a great way to get a team together and recognize a job well done.

Show Gratitude Consistently
Keep the spirit of thankfulness an important component of your leadership. Designate Thankful Thursdays as a time to take a moment to recognize your team/colleagues. This can be done with a YES I Make It Happen nomination, phone call or email.

Engagement Coins

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Appreciation Through Connection

Build connections through showing your Pace spirit! Show your Pace spirit by wearing University colors during a Blue and Gold Day. Designate Wednesday, March 16. Take individual or group photos and send them to Human Resources at alert-hr@pace.edu by March 18. Additionally, managers can send a “thank you” email to each team member and share the photos.

Here are a few ways you can create a culture of employee appreciation by focusing on connection:

  • Schedule a 15-minute listening call with an open agenda to promote discussion.
  • Celebrate All. Host a team meeting and share favorite recipes, traditions, books, movies, travel. It’s fun to learn about one another. It unites us and makes us one!
  • Plan a team lunch, which can be done in-person or virtually, to encourage connections. Encourage leadership to attend. Front-facing student departments can take lunch turns by campus location to ensure coverage.
  • Connect through gratitude. Adopt Thankful Thursdays during March and beyond! Make the spirit of thankfulness an important component of leadership. Designate Thankful Thursdays as a time to take a moment to recognize colleagues. This can be done with a YES I Make It Happen nomination, phone call, or email. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Kindness and empathy count big time and are essential to a positive work environment.

Consider this statistic:

According to a 2019 report by the Institute of Leadership and Management, 77% of employees say that building relationships with colleagues was the most important factor in determining job satisfaction.

More Ways to Show Appreciation Through Connection

Team Photo Display
Share group photos on a designated wall, bulletin board, or common space in the office. Group photos can encourage work relationships and build employee engagement. Display of childhood photos and family photos should be encouraged!

Fruit Fridays
End the workweek with a healthy team get-together. Zoom and/or in-person gathering!

Walking Tour
Take time to walk together as a team while enjoying sites and a healthy activity!

Wellness Together
Pick one wellness activity for your department from the list of wellness activities Human Resources is sharing every Tuesday by email and participate as a group.

Scavenger Hunt
Clues and sneakers are all that is needed. Embark on a fun journey in the area surrounding your work location.

Denim Friday
Jeans on Fridays! Fun way to end the workweek!

Pottery Painting
Purchase pottery pieces, brushes, and paint. Zoom and/or in-person gathering!

Bucket of Fun
All you need are Lego pieces and a beach bucket to begin this fun team tradition! Write the names of all team members on Lego pieces and enter all names, including student assistants, in the bucket. Each Friday morning, all team members gather to select the winner. The name selected from the bucket leaves one hour early! That Lego piece is the starting piece for the “trophy” to be built on each week.

Birthday Time
Leave two hours early on your birthday or one day that week!

Door/Cubicle Decorating Contest
Create your own unique workspace in this fun contest. Movie tickets, Pace swag, or leaving work two hours early are a few prize ideas.

Welcome Socials
Introduce new employees to the team with a meet and greet complete with Pace swag!

Celebrate People
Whether it is birthdays, promotions, retirements, weddings, births, there are plenty of important moments to recognize. Celebrate those milestones with an informal meeting.

Book Club
Create a book club where team members meet monthly.

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Appreciation Through Performance

Here are a few ways you can create a culture of employee appreciation by focusing on performance:

  • If you’re able to, designate one day during this week as a “No Meetings Day.” Recognize your team’s performance. Build up your colleagues by giving them time to recharge.
  • Provide positive feedback. Highlight performance of a team, rather than an individual. Nominate on a formal basis, Presidential Award nomination, etc.
  • Adopt Thankful Thursdays during March and beyond! Make the spirit of thankfulness an important component of leadership. Designate Thankful Thursdays as a time to take a moment to recognize colleagues. This can be done with a YES I Make It Happen nomination, phone call, or email. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Kindness and empathy count big time and are essential to a positive work environment.

Consider this statistic:

Employees are 3.6x more likely to be “strongly motivated” to do outstanding work when they receive regular and continuous feedback from a manager.

More Ways to Show Appreciation Through Performance

Minimize Meetings
Meeting fatigue is a real thing, and it has to be recognized. Show your appreciation by respecting your employees’ time. Review the list of your team members invited to a meeting and determine if there is a real need to participate.

Delayed Delivery of Emails
In the spirit of respecting your employees’ time, use the Outlook feature of delayed delivery. Determine if your email communications need to reach your employees outside of work hours. If not, delayed delivery is a great feature to use. The feature Delay Delivery can be set up using the Options tab within the email.

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Appreciation through Growth

Show your employees you appreciate them by investing in them and providing clear opportunities for growth. Growth opportunities are key to employee satisfaction. Nothing says “I appreciate you” more than helping someone fulfill their full job potential.

Here are a few ways you can create a culture of employee appreciation by focusing on growth:

  • Schedule a quality conversation with team members, a Stay Interview. Learn what makes your team members tick. Offer career conversations to employees. Encourage them to talk about their accomplishments during the past few months. Help the employees identify their strengths. Discuss with employees how they can fully utilize the strengths identified in upcoming assignments, projects or future projects. Discuss continuing education opportunities.
  • Job Shadowing: Employees can pick a function or task in their department they are interested in and want to learn more about. They can partner with a colleague and shadow them.
  • Job Rotation: Employees can partner with a colleague for job rotation. They can pause their daily routines and learn something new.
  • Adopt Thankful Thursdays during March and beyond! Make the spirit of thankfulness an important component of leadership. Designate Thankful Thursdays as a time to take a moment to recognize colleagues. This can be done with a YES I Make It Happen nomination, phone call, or email. It doesn’t even have to be work related. Kindness and empathy count big time and are essential to a positive work environment.

Consider this statistic:

60% of employees agree that if given a choice between similar jobs, the option with stronger professional development wins.

More Ways to Show Appreciation Through Growth

Representing Your Department/Supervisor
Invite your employees to represent you and/or your department at meetings or events to develop growth opportunities. This shakes up a team member’s day-to-day and engages them in a different capacity.

Involve Your Employee in the Future
Involve everyone in long-term planning by soliciting ideas, energy, and feedback. It shows you value someone’s ideas by involving them in future planning.

Involve Your Employees in the Interviewing Process
Involve the team in the interviewing process when filling a vacancy. It shows that what they think matters.

CliftonStrengths
Great personal development tool which provides opportunities for staff conversations and team understanding. Learn more about your strengths.

Professional Development
Check out the professional development offerings at Pace.

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