Recognition Ideas for Student Employees
Recognition is important to expressing appreciation for the valuable work student employees provide to your department/agency. There are a variety of ways in which a supervisor may recognize student employees for little or no cost. The following are some ideas that can help you recognize your student employees in a special way.
Please remember that departmental funds may not be used to pay for gifts, meals, gift certificates, or other items with an associated cost.
- Treat Day - full-time staff bring in treats/lunch for student employees.
- Food - reward students for a job well done with a treat of their choosing.
- Take pictures - post employee pictures and list what wonderful things they do for your department.
- Coupon Booklets - this is always a hit with students! Insert coupons for a free can of soda, movie night at the boss’ house (everyone needs to redeem for this one), one dozen home baked goodies, etc. Be creative in designing your own coupons
- Notes Home - send a note to the families of your student employees. Let them know what the student does, how their work impacts your department, and how terrific the student is.
- Have your staff wear special name tags honoring student employees (STUDENT EMPLOYEES ARE GREAT EMPLOYEES – WE APPRECIATE OUR STUDENT EMPLOYEES)
- Buy low cost, blank certificates and make up silly awards for students: best telephone voice, best web-surfer, etc.
- Friendship Plants - take cuttings from a plant in the office and give to each student as a live “connection” to the office.
- Bright Ideas - spray paint a light bulb gold, screw into a jar of play-dough and make a label around the jar naming who is receiving the “Bright Idea” award.
- Take your student employees to lunch or buy them pizza.
- Give “gag” awards: “hazardous duty” (cleaning coffee machine); longest drive, etc.
- Good Egg Award - buy plastic Easter Eggs, fill with goodies and give out with “Good Egg” certificates. List what the student did to deserve this award.
- Handwritten thank you notes on cards sent to on campus P.O. boxes.
- Bake cakes for student employees on their birthdays.
- Buy low cost gifts and gift certificates to reward students for a job well done.
- "Kudos" certificates attached to a Kudos candy bar.
- Give stickers to all employees and ask them to hand them out when they see someone doing a good job.
- Traveling trophy - each recipient hands it off to the next recipient.
- Develop a token system to earn points for items.
- Surprise incentive - put a reward somewhere in a project that requires persistence (filing) to surprise the student.
- Pat on the Back - Draw an outline of your hand on a piece of paper. Photocopy enough copies for all students in your office. On each hand write a note that tells the student why they deserve a “Pat on the Back”.
- Change the department phone message to recognize student employees.
- Look around the office or at home for a white elephant item. Name the item for the award (Employee of the Month/Week, Great Idea Award, Gotcha Award - catch someone in the act of doing something good).
- Decorate an office bulletin board or the office door in recognition of your students.
- Chalk the sidewalk in front of your office saying “thanks” to your student employees.
- Verbally thank students for their contribution to your department.
- "You Rock" award - print "You Rock" on a rock and present it to someone when they go a good job. Encourage the student to present it to another member of the staff when they observe someone doing a good job.
- Nominate students for CSB or SJU Student Employee of the Year or CSB/SJU Student Team of the Year.
- Develop a peer recognition program (e.g. employee of the month/week - other students can give input or feedback) and place on a tag board or poster for public recognition.
- Promote students to higher level positions in your department.
- Ask students what motivates them and implement a recognition program that is based on individual preferences.
- Ask students to share their expertise with other student employees by offering a training session.
- Offer to be a mentor for student employees.
- Provide flexible scheduling and a choice of projects for student employees that have proven themselves in your department.
- Acknowledge personal achievements in a group.
- Provide letters of recommendation for students who do well in your department.