Printable version

AU employees are taking extraordinary measures to serve our campus and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a supervisor, now is an important time to remind your team of their value to your department and the University. While employee recognition may look a little different, especially with so many employees working remotely, it still needs to occur.

Many of these employee recognition tips are taken from the “Management Fundamentals” class that is facilitated by Bill Shannon, Director of HR Development.

  • Use meetings to your advantage: Meetings are a great time to recognize an employee or team for their importance, good work, teamwork, efforts, etc. Whether in person or on Zoom, start and/or begin every meeting with a recognition.

  • Check in on your people: This is a great opportunity to call employees on your team or in your department – not to micromanage, but to see how they are faring and to thank them for their contributions. This can go a long way toward reminding them that they are valued and appreciated. (By the way, this is also a great time to ask, “Do I owe you anything?” or “Are you getting what you need from me?”)

  • Encourage development: This is especially valuable for your employees who are not able to perform some or all of their job responsibilities remotely. The benefits from professional development can benefit them and your team well beyond the pandemic.

  • Go global and local: Examples of global recognition include the University’s monthly Spirit of Excellence honors, along with the employee recognition page that was created specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic (additional information to the right). Examples of local recognition may include an organization-wide award that is offered by your department or school, or something personal from you to your team.

  • Don’t wait: It is better to recognize a behavior soon, even on the spot, rather than later at a performance management conversation. People are more likely to repeat what they did if recognized on the spot or shortly afterward than waiting a few weeks or more. (They will think the supervisor is out of touch.)

  • Everyone plays a role: Charlie Plumb, USN, spent seven years as a POW after being shot down over North Viet Nam. Out of the blue one day at restaurant, a guy came up to him, knew who he was and his whole life story -- even the moment he took off from the carrier and was shot down and the day he was released. Charlie did not know him, and asked questions as to how they might know each other. The answers were all no. Finally Charlie asked, "OK, tell me how you know all this detail of my life." The man responded, “I packed your parachute.” Here's the point– we must remember that everybody on our team and those who support us play a vital role to our success.

Last updated: 09/11/2023