Monday, May 18, 2009

Recognizing Recognition

Looking out at the smiling faces of our graduates at Commencement this past Friday gave me an enormous sense of pride in the work we do at this College. Talking with faculty and staff at the reception back at the Utica campus afterward further confirmed how meaningful our collective work is and how faculty and staff go to this post-commencement reception to personally congratulate the students. Personalizing recognition like that is what inspired changes to in our employee recognition program.

Last spring the Employee Recognition System Design Team made some bold and daring recommendations to build on our current recognition processes and develop a more comprehensive approach to how faculty and staff are recognized and thanked for their contributions to fulfill MVCC’s mission. This past year, we've tried a few new things, like formalizing the end-of-the-semester employee gathering. We've also recaptured some of what worked in the past, like recognizing our Chancellor's Award winners at Commencement - I thought it worked very nicely.

The Summer Institute Luncheon later this week will see a few important changes to the program format with the complete employee recognition program unveiled at the Celebration of Success (end-of-the-semester gathering) the following day. As I recently announced, the employee service awards will not be recognized in the same way as they have in years past. Rather, we will have smaller, more personal, ceremonies throughout the year. The success of these ceremonies will only come with the full commitment of cabinet members, supervisors and colleagues who choose to attend and honor their colleagues for the years of service to the College, our mission and our students.

As I write this, I think about the time and energy of the employee recognition design team - and thank them for their creativity and commitment to providing a thoughtful approach to recognition. However, I also find myself thinking about the importance of saying thank you in recognition of a job well done and how no matter how comprehensive our recognition program becomes as it evolves over the next few years, the power of saying thank you to one another is often the best recognition of all. If you have any thoughts on how recognition occurs at MVCC, please let me know at presblog@mvcc.edu.