September 9, 2005

Recognition and rewards program debuts next week

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Recognition and rewards program debuts next week

A new Vanderbilt University Medical Center recognition and rewards program launches next week when more than 400 Medical Center leaders are directed to a Web site they can use to send employees occasional thank you notes and gift certificates.

The program is part of elevate, the wide-ranging VUMC improvement effort begun in November.

Ranging from $25 to $200, the gift certificates can be used to purchase goods and services from a wide variety of online and local merchants. VUMC has set aside $1 million this fiscal year for employee recognition gift certificates.

The program has a catch phrase: “Recognize … the difference you make.”

“In addition to supporting recruitment and retention, VUMC programs for performance-based pay, success sharing, and now recognition and rewards, all have the goal of emphasizing the value of the contributions made by our staff to the mission of the Medical Center,” said Vanderbilt Medical Group Chief Operating Officer David Posch. “These programs strengthen the alignment between individual efforts of staff and faculty and the goals of the organization.”

Earlier this year, when leaders were trained to carry out the recognition and rewards program, they were instructed to be specific about their reasons for recognizing staff. In notes to staff, leaders will tie recognition and rewards to specific VUMC work standards (called “credo behaviors”) and to specific elevate goals.

The Vanderbilt Human Resources Web site provides full information about the program. Go to and type “recognize” in the search field. All staff and faculty can use the recognition and rewards site to send thank you cards to each other.

Information sessions for staff and faculty regarding the recognition and rewards program will be held Sept. 21 at 1:45, 4:30 and 6 p.m., Sept. 26 at 6 and 7 a.m., and Sept. 29 at 9:45 a.m. All sessions will be in 208 Light Hall and are scheduled to last approximately an hour.

“In launching this program, we would like Medical Center staff to know that their views have been heard,” said Susan Mezger, director of Human Resources. In employee satisfaction surveys, VUMC staff has asked Vanderbilt to do more to recognize exceptional service, Mezger said.