Employee recognition is not just a nice thing to do for students - it is a communication tool that reinforces and rewards them for the time they commit to your office. When you recognize students effectively, you reinforce the actions and behaviors you most want to see the students continue. Recognition programs encourage student employees to take their jobs seriously by demonstrating that employers sincerely appreciate their work. Effective employee recognition can be simple yet powerfully reinforcing.
Each year, the National Student Employment Association sets the second full week in April as National Student Employee Week during which employers recognize the importance of the student work experience and to show Marymount’s appreciation to its student employees for their hard work and dedication. National Student Employee Week is recognized on Marymount’s campus through the Marymount University Student Employee of the Year process, and employers are encouraged to recognize their student employees on an individual basis that week as well. Information about the Marymount University Student Employee of the Year is sent to hiring managers each January. The winner is recognized at an award luncheon held during National Student Employee Week.
Campus employers are encouraged to recognize their student employees throughout the year for the work they contribute to the office and particularly during the National Student Employee Week in April. Recognition does not have to be expensive or lavish to make an impact. Employers may want to express their appreciation by
- decorating office doors or bulletin boards
- awarding fun certificates to student employees (i.e. longest/shortest commute; toughest customer survivor, perfect attendance, etc.)
- presenting student employees with a formal certificate of appreciation
- hosting a student appreciation pizza, pot-luck, or foot-long sub party
- planning an end-of-year lunch off campus
- writing a formal letter inviting star performers to work in the office again in the following employment period
- inviting experienced student employees to train new student staff in the following employment period
- simply saying, “Thank You” and “Good job!”
Student employees want to know that the work they perform is meaningful. By expressing appreciation to student employees, employers can initiate a discussion about the students’ work experience and enhance the office’s retention efforts among current student staff.