President's Awards for Employee Excellence

Do you know a Cornell employee rockstar? Nominate them for an Employee Excellence Award!

The Employee Excellence Awards  were established in 2011 to recognize the achievements of staff who excel in their roles, both in skills and performance. The program has grown over the years, increasing in award categories and awardees  – and it has morphed yet again.  

In 2018 the program was re-named to the President's Awards for Employee Excellence, and included redefined categories and criteria to expand the pr0gram's scope to all staff and faculty, in all roles, while highlighting the cultural elements that make working at Cornell so special. This year, we are excited to announce the addition of a special Trustee award to be given to an outstanding nominee from across the categories.

Awardees will receive recognition points, through Cornell's new Employee Recognition portal, and all nominees will be invited to a luncheon with President Pollack, Vice President Mary Opperman, and senior leaders from across campus. 

 

The nomination process is now closed. We appreciate all the nominations that were submitted! Nominees and Awardees will be posted in mid-September, 2019.

If you'd like to know more about how nominees will be evaluated, view a draft of the rubric here.  If you have questions, please contact recognition@cornell.edu.

 

laural weathThe Game Changer Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who developed, implemented, or tried a new approach, system, or idea.

Keywords: Innovation, Creativity, Fresh

Overview and Criteria

Innovation and a bold, creative approach are vital to higher education – so it’s imperative to recognize and reward innovation throughout the organization. This award has been created to recognize staff – whether they’ve been at Cornell for a few weeks or many years – who bring fresh ideas to their work, inspire a spirit of innovation, and take a bold approach to accomplish their work.  Nominees can work in any position or area on campus. They could be a colleague, a manager, an employee, someone you've worked with on a project or team – or even yourself. We want to show that innovation flourishes at Cornell!

Your Game Changer nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • COMMUNICATION: Shares knowledge and information.
  • JUDGMENT: Demonstrates innovation, creativity, and informed risk taking.
  • GROWTH: Creates environments in which employees have the freedom, tools, or resources to challenge the status quo, push boundaries and achieve growth; uses mistakes as opportunities for learning.
  • INITIATIVE: Seeks advancements in products, processes, services, technologies or ideas.
  • VISION: Finds innovative solutions; sees new possibilities; takes new ideas from concept to reality.

Nomination

  • What we’re looking for: Here’s your chance to tell us about an employee that has demonstrated, implemented or tried a new approach, system or idea in the last year.  Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. 
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps they oversee a work process, reviewed the steps, and while maintaining the important components, they removed unnecessary steps--resulting in less time needed, and ultimately a cost savings? 
      • Or perhaps they provide front-line customer service, listened to customer feedback about a service that needed improvement and took the initiative to approach their supervisor to make it happen? 
      • Maybe, in talking with colleagues, they identified a component of their work that was being done incorrectly, and took the initiative to bring the issue to their supervisor for further examination and review, even offering to do the ground work to identify the source of the problem and offer solutions?
  • Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding the other nominators’ names and net IDs. Refer to the Nomination tips page for more information on group nominations. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  • Self-Nomination: If you’d like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Online Nomination Form


laural weathThe Mission-Possible Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee whose work demonstrates excellence in supporting the university’s core mission of learning, discovery, engagement. This staff member will exemplify going above and beyond to complete a mission.

                                    Keywords: Impactful, Excellence, Learning-Discovery-Engagement

Overview and Criteria

The Mission-Possible award is presented to Cornell employees who have exhibited a positive and influential impact on their work environment, overcome an obstacle, or fostered cooperation and collaboration in their workgroup, while carrying out their responsibilities.

Your Mission-Possible nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • INTEGRITY: shows a strong work ethic and stays focused on what’s important; takes on the tough challenges.
  • GROWTH: produces results under challenging circumstances and changing environments; sets and achieves stretch goals for themselves.
  • INITIATIVE: looks for opportunities to take initiative and/or exceed expectations; strives to do work more efficiently and effectively; volunteers and enthusiastically takes part in university events and programs.
  • VISION: looks for opportunities to grow their skills and knowledge for the betterment of their team and the University; a positive team player in the department or work group.
  • JUDGMENT: invested in the university’s success; an ambassador for the university as an employer.

Nomination:

  1. What we’re looking for: Please tell us about a staff member whose work demonstrates excellence in supporting the university’s core mission areas of learning, discovery, engagement.  Consider the criteria above and use the Skills For Success to inform your response. 
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps your nominee works in FCS/Grounds and is consistently a high performer that takes extra care when preparing the campus for new students each year, knowing that the entire community takes pride in the beauty of our campus? 
      • Your nominee could be a lab technician that works tirelessly to support faculty, postdocs, and students to ensure the labs are well-stocked and equipment is in top-shape. 
      • Another nominee might be a residence advisor that works round the clock to ensure that students are well informed and have an in-house resource to listen and advise.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding other nominators’ names and net IDs to the nomination form. Refer to the Nomination tips page for more information on group nominations. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process
  3. Self-Nomination: If you’d like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Online Nomination Form


laural weathThe ONE Cornell Award

In a Nutshell: Awarded to a team, department or group of employees that implements a project or solves a problem that positively impacts Cornell and the greater community.

Keywords: Teamwork, Collaboration

Overview and Criteria

"We need to become One Cornell," – Hunter R. Rawlings III, Cornell President Emeritus.

Cornell’s mission to discover, preserve and disseminate knowledge depends on collaborative efforts.  The Cornell community is constantly growing and challenging us to continue to improve means to effectively work across technologies, cultures and boundaries. The collaboration can be within or across teams, departments, units, divisions or campuses.

Your ONE Cornell nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • INTEGRITY: A positive, honest and diplomatic approach when working across teams, departments, and cultures.
  • INCLUSIVE: Contributors that have a sense of belonging can be especially challenging in a truly diverse work group, requiring respect, openness, and serving as an ally when others are being excluded.
  • VISION: “One Cornell” means to effectively integrate the work of our campuses and programs in NYS, the US, and globally.  Sharing this means embracing change, having long-term vision, and supporting bold ideas.
  • COMMUNICATION: Nominees must have exceptional listening skills, the ability to clearly share their knowledge—both written and verbal, in a manner that is inclusive for all participants.

Nomination:

  1.  What we’re looking for: please tell us about a team, department or group of employees that have implemented a project or solved a problem that positively impacts Cornell and the greater community.  Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. 
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps they responded to an urgent need on campus and quickly formed an ad-hoc team to deliver needed results. 
      • Or maybe they were members of a large committee that delivered a University-wide event or activity? 
      • Maybe their everyday work is in teams and they delivered a particularly public or heroic effort this past year?
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this group, you may do so as a group by adding the other nominators’ names and net IDs. Refer to the Nomination tips page for more information on group nominations. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self-Nomination: If you’d like to nominate yourself for the ONE Cornell category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support the nomination.
  4. There is no size limit for group nominations. Please be aware that due to time considerations we may not be able to name each individual in the group at the awards ceremony.

Online Nomination Form


laural weathThe Culture of Belonging Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who goes beyond expectations to create and support an open, inclusive, welcoming and equitable workplace environment for all members of the Cornell community. This person speaks up as an ally when they see unfair treatment and puts diversity and inclusion principles into practice in their everyday work—regardless of the work they do.

                                     Keywords: Inclusion, Diversity, Integrity, Welcoming

Overview and Criteria

Cornell is committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce and creating an inclusive workplace founded on a culture of respect. Nominees support colleagues in feeling welcome as their authentic selves, and empower all members of the community to contribute and participate fully. Nominees who are supervisors go the extra mile to create a culture of belonging in their teams and the larger organization.

YourCulture of Belonging nominee should possess these essential Skills for Success:

  • INITIATIVE:  employee who takes the lead, regardless of their job title or level, to help others feel that they belong at Cornell.
  • INCLUSION: Exceptional efforts to promote a workplace environment free from bias and discrimination, where all individuals are valued.
  • JUDGMENT: Addresses areas of need and commits to progress and achievement—not because their job requires it but because it is the right thing to do.
  • INTEGRITY: Aims to involve and incorporate others; establishes high standards for personal conduct.
  • VISION: Receptive to new ideas, information, backgrounds, and experiences.

Nomination:

  1. What we’re looking for: Here’s your chance to tell us about an individual who goes beyond expectations to create and support an open, inclusive, welcoming and equitable workplace environment for all members of the Cornell community. Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. 
    • Examples:
      • Perhaps this consistently high performing employee frequently works on project teams where they overhear team members disparaging another member, and they safely call out the unfair treatment, using it as an opportunity to create a dialogue about why it is important to have a supportive and respectful workplace environment.
      • Perhaps the nominee asks for different perspectives when problem solving.
      • Or, maybe the nominee frequently attends diversity and inclusion trainings and programs and shares what they learn with other colleagues or implements what they learn in their local unit.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding the other nominators’ names and net IDs. Refer to the Nominations tips page for more information on group nominations. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self-Nomination: If you’d like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

 

Online Nomination Form


laural weathThe Thoughtful Leader Award

In a Nutshell: Recognizes an employee who brings out the best in others. They mentor or coach colleagues with exceptional skill.

Keywords: Supervisor, Manager, Mentor, Leader

Overview and Criteria

The Thoughtful Leader Award is presented to Cornell employees who consistently demonstrate a high level of commitment and dedication to their employees and the Cornell workplace. Strong nominees create an environment that develops, empowers, engages, challenges and motivates their staff and colleagues with a result of greater productivity, effectiveness, and a sense of belonging. They are problem-solvers and act with foresight and professionalism. These individuals also “live” the values of Learning, Discovery, and Engagement at Cornell.  

Your Thoughtful Leader nominee should possess these Leadership Skills for Success:

  • INITIATIVE: shows a strong work ethic and helps employees to strategize and determine priorities; looks for opportunities to take initiative and/or exceed expectations.
  • GROWTH: takes on the tough challenges; produces results under challenging circumstances and changing environments; prioritizes professional development for self and staff; looks for opportunities to grow employees’ skills and knowledge.
  • VISION: inspires staff to work more efficiently and effectively; appreciates the value of feedback; an ambassador for the university as a great workplace where everyone can be their authentic self.
  • INCLUSION: promotes an inclusive work culture; supportive of work/life integration for all employees; supports participation in university events and programs.

Nomination:

  1. What we’re looking for: Here’s your chance to tell us about a special employee that brings out the best in others. They mentor or coach colleagues with exceptional skill, not because they have to but because this is important to them—investing in individuals and thereby investing in Cornell. Consider the criteria above and use the Skills for Success to inform your response. 
    • Examples:
      • An employee who took initiative by taking a leadership role in a working group or team project.
  2. Group Nomination: If you know others who would like to nominate this individual, you may do so as a group by adding other nominators’ names and net IDs.  Refer to the Nomination tips page for more information on group nominations. Additional information may be requested of these individuals as part of the review process.
  3. Self Nomination: If you’d like to nominate yourself for this award category, please provide the names and Net IDs of 2-3 individuals who can support your application.

Online Nomination Form