The University Record, April 3, 1995

Service Awards Program gets new look, mementos

By Jane R. Elgass

A revamped staff recognition program will see individuals with 10 years of service feted at an afternoon reception with their supervisors in attendance; those with 20 years honored at a banquet, with Walter Harrison, vice president for university relations, reading names and other executive officers presenting awards; and those with 30 and 40 years recognized at a dinner that features a slide show of the long-timers in their workplace.

The changes were recommended following a review of the Service Awards Program by an Advisory Committee on Employee Recognition.

The committee was appointed in September 1994 and was charged by Jackie McClain, executive director, Human Resources & Affirmative Action, to review all employee recognition programs and make recommendations for their improvement.

The first to be reviewed, the Service Awards Program, was found to be outdated and inadequate for the increased volume of eligible awardees.

Surveys were sent to more than 830 past recipients, soliciting their opinions about past events and their suggestions for future events. Terry Leonard, a maintenance mechanic at Willow Run, received two tickets to the Pigskin Classic in a drawing held for those who responded to the survey.

The biggest change in the program affects the 10-year awardees, who make up 67 percent of those honored each year. It was found that the majority do not attend the banquet that has been held in the past and prefer to have a recognition event at the department level. In the former program, supervisors did not attend with 10-year awardees because of space constraints, and awards were not given to them individually. Consequently, the committee learned, the recipients found the event impersonal.

The other major change involves the awards themselves, which have been significantly expanded. Standard awards have been retained but recipients also will be able to select from crystal, gold bracelets, watches, desktop accessories and clocks. Award brochures will be mailed directly from the company providing them and recipients will be able to order their selection by returning a card or placing a touch-tone call. The awards will be distributed at the reception and dinners.

The University will play "catch-up" in June, since the December program was postponed, then present the awards only once each year – in November, which will be designated Employee Recognition Month.

Letters were sent to supervisors in late March informing them of the individuals in their units eligible for awards to be presented in June, and the supervisors have been encouraged to also recognize those individuals in some way within their units.

Included are three individuals who have been with the University for 40 years and 53 who have been here for 30 years.

Those to be honored in June will receive brochures on the jewelry later this month.

The June programs are scheduled as follows:

* Open house reception for 10-year awardees, 3&endash;5 p.m. June 20, Alumni Center. Honorees will be able to stop by anytime during the open house to pick up their awards.

* Banquet for 20-year awardees, with guests, supervisors, administrators and executive officers, June 12, Michigan League.

* Dinner and program for 30- and 40-year awardees, with guests, supervisors, administrators and executive officers, June 19, Michigan League.

Members of the committee that reviewed the Service Awards Program were:

Charles Bibins, Building Services; Paula Brown, Medical Center Human Resource Development; Carol Coppersmith, Athletics; Alan Cotzin, Surgery; Lynne Dumas, Center for the Education of Women; Karen Gruschow, Comparative Literature Program; Wendy Powell (chair), Employee Relations and Compensation; Michele Ricco, Human Resources & Affirmative Action; Max Smith, Transportation Services; Diane Vasquez (chair), Human Resources & Affirmative Action; and Scott Ward, Development.