Lehigh University
Lehigh University


New programs recognize employee excellence

The university recently unveiled the Lehigh Tradition of Excellence Award and a Spot Bonus Program to go along with the current year-end awards and annual merit increases.

The Lehigh Tradition of Excellence Award recognizes individuals or teams for exceptional contributions either within their department or throughout the university. Recipients can be nominated by staff, faculty, students, alumni, parents, visitors, or vendors. The deadline for the first round of awards, originally announced as Feb. 28, has been extended to March 14. The first awards will be presented in April. However, nominations will be accepted on a continuing basis, with awards given out twice a year, in April and November.

Nomination forms are available on the Human Resources Web.

Recipients will receive an additional $100 net in their paycheck; a special Tradition of Excellence medallion; a certificate signed by Lehigh President Gregory Farrington; and a letter from Farrington.

The Spot Bonus Program allows supervisors to nominate salaried staff who have made an extraordinary achievement tied to one of the seven goals from Lehigh University’s Agenda for Academic Leadership.

Those selected by the award committee will receive a one-time cash bonus of $300 to $3,000, depending on their accomplishments. The award committee consists of Bonnie Devlin, vice president for advancement, Joe Sterrett, executive director of athletics, and Ron Yoshida, provost.

"An outstanding and committed staff is the hallmark of a strong organization and Lehigh University is no exception," Farrington says. "Lehigh’s staff should be recognized for their outstanding quality, dedication, and leadership. Expanding our formal recognition programs with the addition of the Tradition of Excellence Award and the Spot Bonus Program provides us with more ways to celebrate imagination and creativity and a commitment to excellence in all of our activities."

Jacqueline Matthews, associate vice president for human resources, says the new programs will strengthen Lehigh’s commitment to excellence in all areas.

"When I arrived at Lehigh six months ago, I was pleased to discover that staff contributions are recognized and celebrated," Matthews says. "The seven Lehigh University Awards presented at the May staff recognition dinner are excellent examples. Adding two more award programs—the Lehigh Tradition of Excellence Award and the Spot Bonus Program—further promotes the important value of staff recognition.

"To the employee, recognition signifies that someone notices and someone cares. To the rest of the organization, recognition creates role models, communicates the standards for outstanding contribution, and reinforces an environment of appreciation. It says these are the kinds of things that constitute great performance at Lehigh University, and that we value strong performance. All of us contribute to Lehigh University's culture and will now have additional ways to champion outstanding staff accomplishments."

The university has allocated $20,000 for each new program.

The criteria for the Tradition of Excellence Award are spelled out in detail on the nomination form. The committee overseeing the nominating process will look for nominees who demonstrate outstanding behaviors or produce exceptional results in one or more of three categories—Character, Job Performance, and Teamwork.

Creating a positive work environment, demonstrating leadership, investing time in mentoring, going the extra mile in customer service, coming up with innovative solutions that improve the way work is done while saving time and money, and working within a team that makes a successful contribution are among the criteria the committee will consider.

Chaired by Elaine Kudella (General Counsel’s Office), the committee consists of Leah Cianfrani (Development), Marian Gaumer (CAS), Mary Jo McNulty (Finance and Administration), Debra Nyby (CEAS), Anne Pecsek (LTS), and Pam Steigerwalt (ERAC).

For the Spot Bonus Program, the award committee will look for:
-- Performance substantially beyond expectation on a specific assignment, task, or goal.
-- Contributions that have a significant impact on department or university objectives.
-- Extraordinary efforts above and beyond the normal responsibilities of the person’s position.

Nomination forms are available on the Human Resources Web site, and achievements will be recognized throughout the year on an individual or team basis. For spot bonus team awards, the prize will be divided equally among team members.

"Please participate in the Lehigh Tradition of Excellence Award program by nominating deserving individuals," Matthews says. "Just complete the form or simply call any member of the committee. If you are a supervisor, recommend your staff for the Tradition of Excellence Award or a spot bonus, as appropriate."

--Jack Croft

Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003

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