PATH subcommittee on awards and recognition presents findings

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Amy Walker (UIT) receiving a Significant Contribution Award in 2019.

Based on feedback collected after last year’s LEAP! event, the PATH Committee (People, Awards, Town Halls) created a subcommittee to focus on awards recognition. That subcommittee, chaired by Keith Covert, undertook a deep dive into the recognition programs, with a focus on division-wide programs versus more localized departmental programs, and a special focus on the Significant Contribution Award (SCA) program due to employee feedback. The team’s findings were presented by Kim Powell and myself this week at the Emory Libraries All Staff Meeting. The team is also seeking similar presentation opportunities with other LITS departments and functions.

The PATH awards and recognition subcommittee is comprised of a wide representation of LITS employees: Keith Covert (chair, Project Management Office), Susan Henschen (Business and Administration), Sharon Mason (Laboratory Research Solutions), Wade Moricle (Campus and Community Relations), Kim Powell (Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library), Rob Renner (advisor, Human Resources), and Bev Turner (Resource Description). With respect to the annual Significant Contribution Awards (SCAs), the current plan is to administer the program for the 2019/20 cycle without making any major design changes, but with a much stronger education and communication campaign to increase awareness of key program elements and features.

A key finding from the subcommittee’s work is that LITS’ departments have not historically been proportionately represented by the SCA program and that high-profile project contributions were far more commonly recognized versus other types of contributions. So, they took time to highlight the many types of contributions which can be recognized, which include:

  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Operational Excellence/Exceptional Service
  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Community Relations/Citizenship
  • Leadership

It was also noted that any LITS employee can submit a nomination. The subcommittee hopes that greater awareness of award categories and nomination eligibility will lead to a greater variety of award types and more equitable representation across LITS departments and functions.

Additionally, a summary of division-wide reward and recognition programs was provided in hopes of increasing overall program utilization.

LITS Division-Wide Award and Recognition Programs:

  • Significant Contributions Awards (SCA) – reward major milestone achievements
  • LITS Service Awards – reward longevity
  • Spot Bonuses (Visa gift card of $100-$500) – reward exceptional effort or execution
  • Awards of Appreciation (tangible gift <$75 in value) – reward exceptional effort or execution
  • Project Celebration Events or Bonuses – reward individuals who are integral to major projects and initiatives
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Sarah Morris (Emory Libraries) enjoying 2019 LEAP!

SCA and Service awards are presented at the annual LEAP! event, but the others can be given at any time and may often be more local or private in nature. An additional goal that we noted during the presentation was to increase the recognition of team accomplishments through celebration events or bonuses where appropriate.\

In the past, when the SCA program had been used to recognize both individual and team contributions, it was used almost exclusively for one or the other, rather than both. Specifically, in 2015, 11 out of 12 awards went to individuals. By 2017, all 12 awards went to teams, including 110 separate recipients, yet individual contributions were lost. So, beginning with the 2018/19 award cycle, there has been an effort to recognize individuals via the SCA program and teams via celebration events and/or project bonuses to ensure that neither type of contribution is marginalized by the reliance on a single program.

To see the presentation in its entirety, please visit the Awards and Recognition page within the LITS HR website. More information will be shared as we approach the March nomination cycle.

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