Programs That Endure

Employee Recognition

One of the best ways to make employees feel valued is to institute a formal recognition program. However, rather than having "them" (meaning management) make the decisions about who to acknowledge and why, there is great power in recognizing specific acts of service that the company invites employees to emulate, and having peers be the judge of which acts warrant formal recognition.

From 2004 to 2010, OneLegacy's Superior Performance Awards, the company’s front-line, employee-driven peer awards and recognition program, enabled employees to recognize themselves and their peers for demonstrating superior service to any of their six most important internal and external constituents: Our Fellow Employees; Our Regional Office, Department or Team; Our Company; Donor Families; Hospitals; and The Community.

Demonstrations of superior service were recognized at three escalating levels:

  • "Snaps" submitted by employees on an ongoing basis and routinely shared by the regional office or department.

  • "A Round of Applause," recognized at general staff meetings.

  • Superior Performance Awards (aka “Spannies”), presented annually at the year's first staff meeting, with winners chosen for each of the six constituent categories, plus a special “Mission” award.

Over the course of five years, more than 550 peer-to-peer Snaps were submitted; 229 employees received A Round of Applause; and 33 Spanny Awards recognized 82 employees with best-of-the-year honors.

 To help break down silos, employees were encouraged to acknowledge the deeds of colleagues from outside their own departments.

To help break down silos, employees were encouraged to acknowledge the deeds of colleagues from outside their own departments.

 At general staff meetings, honorees were introduced by the individual who originally submitted the Snap, adding to the "employee-driven" aspect of the program and demonstrating the value in acknowledging one another. A focus on first-person accounts and specific deeds lent to dramatic storytelling, with employees receiving "A Round of Applause" often receiving a standing ovation.

At general staff meetings, honorees were introduced by the individual who originally submitted the Snap, adding to the "employee-driven" aspect of the program and demonstrating the value in acknowledging one another. A focus on first-person accounts and specific deeds lent to dramatic storytelling, with employees receiving "A Round of Applause" often receiving a standing ovation.