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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Staff Recognition

Campus pathway in the summer sun

Employee recognition acknowledges employeee for exemplary performance or service. Recognizing your colleagues goes a long way in creating a positive working environment. At Smith, we have a few formal ways of recognizing and appreciating our employees.

Some benefits of practicing employee recognition include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Job satisfaction
  • Better employee retention
  • Better networking opportunities
  • Positive employee-employer relationship
  • A healthy, positive environment

Staff Spotlight Award

The Staff Spotlight Award recognizes employees for going above and beyond the everyday scope of their responsibilities. Smith employees can nominate colleagues for recent accomplishments that reflect contributions in the following areas:

  • Service excellence
  • Process improvement/development
  • Problem solving
  • Fostering an inclusive and collaborative work environment 
  • Other (to be described by nominator)


Employees are encouraged to nominate colleagues—inside or outside of their departments—by submitting a Staff Spotlight Award nomination form. Human Resources will review all nominations. Each award has a pretax value of $200. Payments will be issued in the recipient’s paycheck usually within the following pay period of receiving recognition.

Please note:

  • Nominations should reflect recent accomplishments (within the past few months) and are accepted from November through March for the current fiscal year.  
  • Employees may receive a maximum of one award per year.
  • Employees may not nominate their supervisors.
  • Students are not eligible to participate.

What is a Staff Spotlight Award?
The Staff Spotlight Award recognizes staff for going above and beyond the everyday scope of their responsibilities.

Why is it important to have a Staff Spotlight Award?
Employees feel more connected to the workplace culture when they receive recognition for service excellence. Through a nomination system, the Staff Spotlight Award celebrates achievements and reinforces values and behaviors. Recipients receive a monetary gift shortly after their nominations and are invited to a special Staff Spotlight Award celebration in the spring.

How will nominees be categorized? 

Nominees will be categorized by the following: 

  • Service excellence
  • Process improvement/development
  • Problem solving
  • Fostering an inclusive and collaborative work environment
  • Other (to be described by the nominator)

How many awards can an individual receive in a year?
Employees may be nominated multiple times throughout the course of the program year, but each employee is only eligible to receive one financial award.

Who is eligible to receive this award?
Full- and part-time staff are eligible to receive the award.

Describe the nomination process. 
All Smith College employees are encouraged to nominate a staff colleague by submitting a Staff Spotlight Award nomination form. Employees may nominate staff members from any department on campus but cannot nominate their supervisors. Human Resources will review all nominations. 

What is the Spotlight Award cycle?
Nominations are accepted November through March for the current fiscal year. 


Years of Service

Smith College recognizes and honors employees who have reached certain service milestones. Awards are presented to employees in recognition of years of service beginning at 10 years and every five-year milestone through 35 years and beyond. In the fall, a special luncheon is held in their honor.

After addressing the honorees, the president presents 25-year pins to staff reaching their 25th year of service with the college, thereby inducting them into the Twenty-Five Year Club.

All honorees are presented with a certificate signed by the president of Smith College.

25-Year Club

The 25-Year Club was established in 1958 by Grace Asserson, the college’s employment manager, as a means of recognizing and expressing the college's appreciation to those staff members—retired and still employed—who had completed 25 or more years of service. Grace retired in 1971 after 30 years of service; she passed away in 1983.

Although we now formally recognize employees with fewer than 25 years of service, this club has a special significance for employees simply by its uniqueness and by the number of years required for membership.

The symbol of club membership is a gold pin that is a replica of the Grécourt Gates (in front of College Hall), with a diamond in the center of the pin. Formal recognition and club membership is accomplished at the Years of Service Awards, held each year.

Informal Recognition

Besides these formal way of recognizing people, here are some examples of Informal recognition that you can use to share your appreciation for a colleague’s contributions to your team:

  • Email on a job well done
  • Treat the department to lunch
  • Bring in a special treat ( fruit dish, cake, donuts) “just because”
  • Coordinate a team event ( bowling, ect) gift card for lunch at the campus center 

Take the time to acknowledge your colleagues today and tomorrow for a stronger future!