Recognition Toolkit

Employee recognition is a powerful way to develop and retain employees, enhance performance and build a values-based culture.

Employee recognition can be given in many ways—through saying thank you, giving praise, providing professional development opportunities, or showing respect.  Many studies on the workplace have shown that being recognized for achievements, knowing that one's contributions matter to the organization, and the opportunity for growth and professional development have a considerable impact on employee satisfaction and commitment.  

Learn more about GW departmental recognition best practices.

Why Recognize

Recognition and engagement are business strategies. Research findings show that formal, informal and day-to-day recognition programs, when linked to organizational values and goals, can create a culture of recognition that enhances employee engagement, performance and retention. You should recognize individuals and teams, in a timely and effective way, for their exceptional contributions to their office, their department, school, or to the institution. 

Recognition Resources

Formal Recognition is made up of structured programs like GW’s Career Milestones Awards or the Celebration of Excellence. These programs have defined structures and processes that support the goals and values of the university. 

Informal Recognition and Day-to-Day Recognition focus on performance achievements and low to no cost ways of showing appreciation daily, monthly or quarterly. Informal recognition occurs monthly or quarterly and may impact fewer employees than day-to-day recognition.

Use the links below to access tips, tools and resources on how to make recognition a more meaningful experience:

Formal Recognition

Informal Recognition

Day-to-Day Recognition

Visit our Recognition Resources page for additional tools to help you introduce recogntion strategies that are meaningful and effective.

Share Your Pride

We’d like to know what your department or division does to recognize faculty and staff. Submit your recognition program to be added to our list of GW Recognition Best Practices.

As another way of honoring your service, tell us why you are Proud to Be GW. What makes GW special for you?

Contact Us

For more information about GW Recognition Programs, please contact us at

picture from Proud to Be GW Employee Appreciation Festival

Are you Proud to Be GW?

The Proud to Be GW Employee Appreciation Festivals are held in mid-June every year to recognize GW Staff and Faculty, to show GW pride, and to build our university community.