HR Recognition Program Wins Award

Posted: June 14, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

The comprehensive awards program of George Mason’s Office of Human Resources and Payroll (HR) received the Quality in Human Resource Practice Award presented by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) at its regional conference in North Carolina.

George Mason will again be recognized for the award in the fall at the CUPA-HR national convention. The award is given to CUPA-HR members who have made significant contributions to the practice of human resource management, including the successful development and implementation of a traditional process or creative management practice that will improve performance, advance the profession, and/or promote better understanding of human resource management.

“When I arrived at Mason last September, I was struck by the magnitude, diversity, and breadth that the HR recognition programs have within the university community,” says Linda Harber, assistant vice president for human resources and payroll. “In addition, President and Mrs. Merten and the entire university administration strongly support and recognize the value of these programs and their faculty and staff contributions. These programs make a significant impact on George Mason University and its faculty and staff retention and morale.”

Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens stated in his nomination support letter that “the awards program, which includes the active participation of the university president, is an institutional statement that, regardless of how weak economic times may be, we will set aside resources (dollars, time, and effort) to acknowledge the commitment and effort of our outstanding staff.”

The Mason awards program began as a pilot program in 1996 under Keith Bushey, now assistant vice president and chief safety officer. “His initial program began with three major awards funded from the central budget, along with the existing Customer Service Award and the Employee of the Month program,” says Martha Reiner, HR awards coordinator. “The program has since expanded to nine university award programs, plus additional awards funded and awarded by the Staff Senate and programs within various departments.”

In the fiscal year about to end, the awards program presented 12 Employee of the Month and 389 service awards, including 1 Customer Service Award, 1 Citizenship Award, 2 Outstanding Supervisor Awards (given by the Staff Senate), 41 Outstanding Achievement Awards, and 323 Individual Impact Awards. In addition, 101 days of Recognition Leave were awarded.

“The awards program, in response to feedback from supervisors and employees, will have new awards in the next fiscal year that will better utilize resources and broaden the scope of recognition,” says Reiner.

“Mason’s award program puts us at the forefront because most places don’t give this kind of recognition,” says Harber. “Other places have one or two awards in their programs, but no one does the whole depth.” She adds, “It succeeds because the administration says it is important. For example, the fact that Dr. Merten cares enough to personally present the Employee of the Month award in his office is very telling about how integral this program is to the university and how much employees are valued by leadership.”

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