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Appreciation & Recognition

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The many ways we say “Thank you!”

At Cornell, we are committed to cultivating a culture of appreciation that celebrates our employees’ achievements and contributions throughout the year. Success relies on all of us!

It is easy to get focused on the tasks at hand – the emails, the meetings, the projects and to-do lists – and forget to say, “Thank you!” or “Well done!” And yet, it is often those simple, timely gestures that have a profound impact on our attitude, productivity, and feelings of belonging. 

Appreciation Portal

An easy-to-use online program that allows for quick, just-in-time messages to peers across the university. It's a thank you note, without having to pull out a card! The system empowers our employees to recognize a colleague’s success or milestone the moment it happens. Simply sign in and share your message privately with the individual.

Learn more about the Appreciation Portal

Informal Recognition

It's easy and meaningful to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of employees and peers for their work every day, as well as after the completion of projects both large and small.

Check out ideas for low-cost and no-cost individual and group recognition


Special events such as High Five RED Days and Employee Celebrations are a broad campus-wide informal show of appreciation for our hardworking employees. 

Learn more about employee events


The university stewards several award programs intended to formally honor our employees for outstanding performance. Some are campus-wide recognitions, while others are specific to colleges, departments and units. Recognize an exceptional employee, supervisor or fellow colleague by nominating them for a variety of campus awards.

Learn more about employee awards


Service Recognition

This tradition of recognition is a grateful celebration of the staff milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service to the university.

More about the Service Recognition Program

Degree Recognition

Each year, dozens of Cornell staff members graduate with degrees from Cornell and other colleges with the help of the Employee Degree Program and the Tuition Aid program offered by the University.

More about the Staff Graduate Program

Recognition Toolkit for Managers

'Engagement & Retention Conversations Toolkit for People Leaders' provides tips to guide conversations, customizable script samples, conversation starters, notes template, and follow-up questions.

Download the 'Engagement & Retention Conversations Toolkit for People Leaders'.