Thank You. Grazie. Danke.

By Jennifer Palma Sanchez

Thank You. Grazie. Danke.

By Jennifer Palma Sanchez
At the University of Miami, employee recognition comes in many forms.

From offices and lecture halls, to operating rooms and research labs, each employee at the University of Miami plays a unique role in the success and growth of the organization. Among the varied responsibilities of UM faculty, staff, and healthcare providers, departments and teams embody the mission and values of the University in different ways. However, it is the consistent dedication to building a culture of belonging and the profound willingness to increase diversity, integrity, responsibility, excellence, compassion, creativity, and teamwork (also known by the acronym DIRECCT) that are the foundation of the organization.

Looking for ways to say thank you? Below are seven ways that UM departments celebrate their employees’ hard work:

Human Resources: IMPACT Awards

Each year human resources employees throughout the University gather to celebrate the accomplishments of their HR colleagues and unsung heroes outside of their department. The IMPACT Awards (Innovative, Measurable, People-Oriented, Accountability, Collaborative, and Teamwork) are intended to recognize exceptional performance, or special efforts significantly beyond the regular duty requirements. Nominations are submitted for specific categories according to the impact of the act, service or work performance and employees come together to celebrate as a team. Learn more about the IMPACT Awards and 2018 awardees here.

Information Technology: UMIT Recognition Buttons

Employees at UMIT created a program that embraces daily appreciation opportunities instead of once per year. The goal of the UMIT Recognition Button program is to recognize employees who exhibit UMIT core values, and to create a culture where personal gratitude is expressed. Within the program everyone has the same ability to spread thanks from “anyone to anyone”--leaders, peers, direct reports, and others outside of UMIT. Additional information about the program and the Buttons is posted on the UMIT website.

Office of Institutional Culture: ThankU Program

While the Office of Institutional Culture continues to lead University-wide initiatives that foster a value-based and purpose-driven culture, their team has also developed a recognition program that all employees can use. The ThankU program is an online tool that encourages employees to share notes of gratitude to colleagues anywhere within the University. Through the tool, employees have the option of designing and writing a custom message that can be shared privately or publicly. Do you have someone you’d like to thank? Send a ThankU note here.

Miami Business School: Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards

As a way to acknowledge the impact  that faculty and staff make in the community and in the classroom, the Miami Business School recognizes outstanding teaching, research, and service contributions at their annual awards ceremony. The celebration of accomplishments invites leaders and peers to network and grow collectively as a team. Additionally, the program recognizes employees with ten or more years of service at the Business School. You can read more about this year’s award winners here.

Facilities and Operations: UMatter

The cornerstone of the UMatter program is that it provides a rare opportunity for the departments on the Coral Gables and Rosenstiel campuses to come together as a group each year to foster a sense of community and inclusion. While the awards recognize employees in various categories, the event itself truly allows the teams to learn and grow collectively among peers and leadership. UMatter is a time to show employees that they matter and are recognized for their efforts and years of service.

UM Long Service Awards

The Long Service Award is designed to recognize and express gratitude to faculty and staff members who have contributed many years of dedicated service to the University of Miami.
Beginning at the 10 year milestone, employees are recognized for their enduring commitment, dedication, and contributions to the ongoing success of UM’s mission and vision. In 2018, more than 1,000 UM employees will celebrate a service milestone, totalling over 17,000 years of service! Additional information on the program and milestone awards can be found on the Human Resources website.

UHealth Central Billing Office: Thank You

In July 2017, the Central Billing Office initiated a recognition program based on the results of a University-wide survey which showed employee engagement as an area of opportunity. Since then, the program has evolved in a unique way, allowing employees to highlight different units during team huddles based on the DIRECCT values. The recognition aspect of the huddles has now become a celebratory portion of their meetings that enable everyone on the team to provide value and feel valued by their leaders.

How do you say thank you? Share your recognition programs with us at