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September 2016 Archives

Editor's note: This post is part of an ongoing series that shares some of the initiatives, events and activities that support employee health and well-being at the American Psychological Association. We don't only talk about how businesses and organizations can be psychologically healthy. It's a model we've also adopted ourselves.


Everyone likes to be thanked, but did you know that employees who received recognition are more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction, motivation and work effort? APA's 2014 Employee Recognition Survey linked effective recognition practices to positive outcomes for both employees and organizations.

At APA we offer a wide reaching awards and recognition program to allow supervisors and colleagues to recognize employees in formal and informal ways. Other organizations can use APA’s programs as inspiration to start or expand their own awards and recognition program.

APA’s biggest recognition event is our annual Recognition Day each spring. The event is held in a conference room on site and is made up of different activities including information about our programs, recognition themed games, goody and ducky grams you can send to your colleagues. Receiving a ducky gram has become a coveted gift at APA. Each year employees can send each other a different themed rubber duck. Many employees have their desks lined with all different rubber ducks. At this year’s event we ran out of ducky grams in less than an hour. Once the ducks were gone, staff were able to send their colleagues sweet or salty snacks along with a note of gratitude.

Our informal recognition program includes e-cards and thank you notes. At any time, employees can send their colleagues e-cards and print cards to thank them for their help on a project, congratulate them on a brilliant idea or even let them know they enjoy being on the same team.

APA has a formal awards program that allows any employee to nominate their colleague for a Service All Star or Core Values Award at any time. Employees can also nominate a colleague for the most prestigious title, the Raymond D. Fowler Award. Nominations are reviewed by past winners of the Raymond D. Fowler Award.

A Service All Star is someone who goes above and beyond their normal job duties to benefit a coworker, department or the association as a whole. Up to 12 employees can receive the Service All Star Award each year. APA has nine core values: decency and fairness, teamwork, flexibility and resilience, individual differences, employee development, collaborative decision making, open communication, health and well-being and organizational self-knowledge. One award is given for each core value each year to employees that embody the essence of the values.

There are a number of options for recognition at APA – both formal and informal. As an important part of overall organizational wellness, we encourage employees and managers to participate whenever possible. Maybe you’ll find a duck on your desk next!


Katelynn Wiggins is assistant director of the Staff Initiatives Office, which is part of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence.



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This page is an archive of entries from September 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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