GW Staff Yearbook

Celebrating your GW Journey

2022 Career Milestones Event
2022 Career Milestones Event

At GW, recognition of our staff members for their hard work remains a guiding principle of how we prioritize care within our community. While supervisors are encouraged to show their appreciation for their staff members every day, there is no better opportunity to do so then in the GW Staff Yearbook. 

The GW Staff Yearbook is distributed to the employee in the month of their fifth-year service anniversary (and every five years thereafter), to recognize their contributions to the university. 

GW Staff Yearbook Process

  1. Receiving the invite. An email invitation will be sent to you from O.C. Tanner, informing you of the direct report that is celebrating a service anniversary. Within this email, you will receive a secure link to follow, along with step-by-step instructions as to how to upload your message of congratulations and appreciation, and additional options for uploading a photograph or video.

  2. Invite others to join. Add the email addresses of the recipient’s coworkers. Each person provided will be automatically invited to add their own unique tributes, photographs, and comments. 

  3. Respond promptly and with care. There is a limited window for participation, with about 14 days given for you to leave comments. Your personal comments, photos and videos —and those from peers— are automatically pulled into the recipient’s GW Staff Yearbook. If you submit a comment outside of the given timeframe, your comment will appear in the online version of the yearbook but not the printed. Supervisor participation is critical. If supervisors fail to participate, the yearbook will lack any personalized comments. 


Thinking Through Your Message

As you begin to compose these messages, we are here to help. We invite you to check out the tips and things to avoid, as well as some crafted messaging that you can use to help write your own personalized notes.

Tips for Writing
  • Be authentic. Your message does not have to be lengthy to have an impact. Sometimes, the most meaningful recognition is the simplest! Begin with a simple “thank you” or congratulate them for their years of service, and their work contributing to the mission of GW.

  • Personalize it. Think through how to make your message more personal - you may want to reference a memory that you share, or a skill that they have which you admire. 
  • Offer congratulations. Ultimately, be sure to wish them a job well done! This is a great opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and success, so be sure to express that you are proud of their achievements. 

  • Express care. Remember that the GW Staff Yearbook is a gift that they may treasure. Keep your comments kind and professional.
What to Avoid
  • Do not say anything negative about the staff member (or other staff members) within the yearbook.
  • Do not make note or discuss any past grievances or issues with the staff member.
  • Do not make any offensive or aggressive comments that may harm the staff member.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I have an impact through this yearbook?

This yearbook offers the opportunity for meaningful comments and congratulations. Your role, as either a supervisor or a colleague, is critical to ensuring that the staff member receives something positive that recognizes their work. We encourage all who will contribute to a recipient’s yearbook to remember that this is an opportunity to express your appreciation for the work of the recipient, and a memorable way to demonstrate gratitude for their commitment to our academic mission. 

Is there a word count limit?

Supervisors may submit comments up to 750 words. Colleagues have a 350 word count limit. 

Is there a limit to the number of photographs and videos we can submit for a colleague?

Supervisors may submit up to three (3) photographs and colleagues can submit one (1) photograph, with one video allowed per submission. The video will only appear in the online version of the yearbook.

What if I receive a large number of invitations to comment in different staff members' yearbooks? 

If you are a supervisor who has many direct reports due to receive a yearbook within a month, take advantage of the templates we have provided to serve as inspiration for your messages. Taking the time to write these comments will be time well-spent. Recognition is a valuable tool to help develop your staff, and as a supervisor, your comments can have an incredibly positive impact on the recipient. 

If you are a staff member asked to provide comments for multiple staff members, you can also reference one of the templates we have provided. Your messages need to be no longer than a sentence, and if you do not wish to leave a comment for your colleague, you may politely decline. 

If I am a supervisor, which colleagues should I invite to leave a comment?

You may invite as many colleagues as you wish, but ensure that these are the peers that the recipient works closely with. You may find the emails of the colleagues to invite by visiting the university directory, and typing in the names. 

Can I invite people outside of GW to leave comments in the yearbook?

The friends and family of the recipient are welcome to provide additional comments or photographs and videos. Before contacting these people, please confer with the staff member. If the staff member wants to include those outside of GW, they can provide their supervisor with the email addresses of those they want contacted.

How long do I have to submit comments?

You will have about 14 days to submit comments for the yearbook. Any comments submitted outside of this time frame will only appear in the online version of the yearbook.

If I have questions about this process, who should I contact?

Please contact the Engagement team at [email protected].