Employee Recognition Programs

Recognition of employees years of service and accomplishments are part of the University of Northern Iowa’s history and culture. There are multiple programs available that serve as opportunities to recognize accomplishments. Although there are annual division recognition events, recognition for accomplishments should be given throughout the year.

Examples of formal recognition awards are:


Administration & Financial Services

Student Affairs

Academic Affairs

Office of the President
  • President’s Division Award of Distinction – Awarded annually to one President’s division employee

Please take an opportunity to view the various awards and familiarize yourself with the criteria. Great things are often done to support one another and the goals of UNI so please take a moment to consider recognizing employees for these efforts through one of the recognition programs.

Informal Ways to Recognize

Team handshake UNI Thank You cards UNI Dinning snacks


Not everyone likes all forms of recognition. It is suggested that for more public forms of recognition, that one first determines that person's comfort level with public recognition.

  1. Recognize the person at a staff meeting if the person is in your department
  2. Write a personal UNI Thank You note to someone to recognize them for their efforts - personal notes/cards can make a big impact in an electronic society
  3. Bring the person deserving recognition a home-made or UNI Dining treat they would like
  4. Tell the person face-to-face what you appreciated about their work, approach, commitment or results and sincerely thank them
  5. Send an email to the person you are recognizing with a copy to their supervisor
  6. Nominate the person for one of the UNI award programs
  7. Suggest that at staff meetings, everyone takes a turn recognizing a co-worker for something they did well. The positivity pays dividends!
  8. If you manage, take time to celebrate departmental, project or individual successes
  9. Pay it forward - if you receive praise for an accomplishment and others contributed to that success, be sure to recognize them as well
  10. If you supervise and you receive recognition for one of your staff, pass that recognition on to your supervisor so recognition is shared up the reporting line
  11. If you supervise and you see good work and expertise, empower them to lead a specific project or work team. This shows your confidence in them and further develops their leadership skills

  Coffee Cup and Thank you note

Reasons to Recognize

  • Always being willing to help
  • Offering a creative idea
  • Consistent quality of work
  • Continuous improvement
  • An above and beyond effort
  • Meeting a goal
  • Surpassing a goal
  • Having a winning attitude
  • Ethical behavior
  • Cost-conscious behavior
  • Being a contributing team member
  • Solving a problem
  • Following through on a commitment
  • Responsive and timely service
  • Strong leadership
  • Perseverance
  • For being fast and efficient
  • Making the commitment
  • Accepting a challenge
  • Seizing an opportunity
  • Overcoming insurmountable odds
  • Doing it right the first time
  • Believing and then succeeding
  • Being committed to safety of others
  • Thinking ahead
  • Managing time wisely
  • Motivating others
  • Dedication to students
  • Having the courage to push ahead
  • Outstanding achievement
  • Making tough choices
  • Staying well-read and informed
  • Overcoming fears and failure
  • Always giving the time and effort
  • Attention to detail
  • Being committed to team effort
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Being flexible
  • Loyalty


Contact Information

Human Resource Services
(319) 273-2422




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Date Updated:April 29, 2014