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At the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, our employees are our richest resource. Whether you are working in an academic department, one of the centers, or in administration, you are integral to SPH’s success. Individually, your passion, professionalism, and commitment to our mission are vital to SPH’s standing as a world-class research and teaching institution. As teammates and colleagues, your collaboration and connections with others are what make SPH a rewarding workplace and a welcoming community.

The Employee Recognition Committee was created in 2012 to address concerns regarding recognition that were raised during a previous Employee Pulse Survey. The committee worked hard to come up with a School-wide, all-encompassing recognition program including appreciation events and formal recognition. A wide range of achievements, from random acts of kindness to outstanding contributions to the SPH mission, can be recognized. As we go forward in making the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health an even better place to work, we hope to come together as a community to celebrate personal milestones like employment anniversaries and completion of a degree program, to rejoice in our diversity, to honor one another, and to simply have fun together. Please help us in creating a “recognition rich” culture here at SPH.

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Rewards & Recognition Programs

We value community building and have created a number of events that reflect this commitment. Employee rewards and recognition can be generated by your peers, your manager, or by other SPH leaders. Our program encompasses the following:

  • The Sarah K. Wood Award for Outstanding Staff Performance recognizes a staff member who demonstrates the qualities of dedication, competence, positive attitude, initiative, and ability to mentor, encourage, and inspire others, in addition to a demonstrated commitment to the School and its mission. The nomination process is now closed for 2015. Nominations will be reviewed and awardees selected by the School Employee Recognition Committee. Thank you for submitting your Sarah K. Wood Award nominations. Click here to view 2015 nominees.
  • Harvard Heroes is an annual award bestowed on individuals, nominated by their peers and/or managers, who have made outstanding contributions to SPH. Awardees are honored at a special ceremony attended by their families, friends, colleagues, and University leaders. For more information about Harvard Heroes, see Harvie.
  • Harvard Longwood Campus Season of Giving and Give Thanks Event is a month-long program celebrating the good work and the good will of those within our community by offering an opportunity to send messages of appreciation to colleagues who have enriched your work experience by good deeds and small kindnesses.
  • We C.A.R.E. Cards – Congratulation. Appreciate. Recognize. Empower. These cards are available to anyone that wishes to post or hand out a card to show appreciation to another employee. Cards can be found at the following locations: Kresge lobby (main entrance), FXB, Smith Street, and Landmark.
  • A.C.E. Awards – Acknowledging Commitment and Excellence Awards recognizes those who go “that extra mile” in any of a number of ways. Once a quarter, five employees will be awarded a gift card through A.C.E. to be delivered by an SPH Senior Leader. Anyone may nominate an SPH employee through the online Recognition Award Nomination Form.
  • Service Awards include an Annual Appreciation Event, Celebration with the Stars, for those celebrating milestone anniversaries at SPH and a special University-wide ceremony for those who have achieved 25 years of service at the University.
  • Lunch on Us is a way for managers to reward employees who lend a helping hand to those around them, who go above and beyond and who make SPH an even better place to work. If a manager or senior leader catches you doing something great, you may be handed a voucher good for $7.50 towards lunch at Sebastian’s Cafe (Kresge).
  • 100% Club Celebration is a celebratory event that honors all departments who achieved 100% completion of performance reviews. Games, prizes, food, and more make up this fun yearly event.
  • Scoopfest is a summertime event that brings us all together to enjoy ice cream served up by SPH senior leaders dressed in hats, sunglasses, and aprons.
  • Administrative Breakfast Forum offers the opportunity for employees to chat with senior leaders about what’s happening at the school in a small group setting and address whatever topics might be on their minds.
  • On My Own Time at the Harvard Longwood Campus, a yearly showcase of what we do on our time outside of work, ending with a reception and live performances.
  • Longwood Summer Music Series brings together the entire Harvard Longwood Campus to enjoy a series of concerts on the HMS Quad and in the Kresge Courtyard during the months of July – September. The concerts, featuring musicians from Berklee College of Music, take place on Wednesdays from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
  • State of the School Address (SOSA) and Town Hall are events sponsored by the Dean’s Office.
  • The Take the Stairs Campaign is an initiative aimed at increasing physical activity and improving health (by encouraging using the stairs more often) and reducing our environmental impact (by using the energy to run the elevator less often).

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Best Practices for Employee Recognition Ideas

Recognition can also be personalized within your department to acknowledge various contributions by individuals or teams. Visit the links provided here for a list of ideas. It is important to exercise fiscal responsibility and that awards be proportional to the achievement being recognized. Consult your HR Partner who can help you navigate these issues, and perhaps help to customize a program for your area.

Have an idea regarding recognition? We are looking for your feedback! Email us or drop by today!

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Helpful Resources

University Policy for Employee Gifts and Celebratory Events provides the following guidance on employee gifts and celebratory events:

  • Ensure gift is for an allowable occasion
  • Ensure gift complies with thresholds for non-taxable gifts
  • Ensures gift uses appropriate funding
  • Ensures gift is recorded to proper object code

Taxability of Gifts to Employees and Other Individuals Affiliated with Harvard: one page appendix to gift and celebratory events policy providing an overview of taxability of employee gifts.

If you have any questions regarding the University’s Employee Gift Policy, please contact Sharon Reine in the Office of Financial Services at 617-432-7693.