Gold Star program catches UAA employees in the act

No longer will exceptional performance go unnoticed in the University of Alaska Anchorage workplace. The Gold Star program, currently in the pilot stage, launched on Oct. 11 has just announced its first members. Offering prizes ranging from gift certificates, T-shirts and free lunches, the program hopes to laud employees for superb performance at the university.

“Employees caught demonstrating individual excellence will be given a Gold Star,” said Director of Campus Diversity and Compliance, Chairita Franklin. “The distributor of the Gold Star writes the recipients' name on the tear-off ticket and forwards it to Human Resources.”

The project acknowledges individuals that are seen showing respect to others, catering to customer satisfaction and executing excellent performance. As well as promoting the university, valuing diversity and constructing creativity, employees that foster cooperation and guarantee good stewardship will be appreciated

All Gold Star recipients will be posted on AYNEWS on the last Friday of each month. Depending on how many prizes are available, all nominees will be placed in a drawing and randomly selected for a prize.

Andrew Hill, Bob Kizer and Kuya Randall are the drawing winners for the month of October out of 33 nominated recipients. Kizer received a T-shirt. Hill and Randall won a free lunch for a companion at the Lucy Cuddy Center Dining Room, donated by the Culinary Arts Program.

“Hopefully the Gold Star program will attract retention by making employees feel valued and recognized for their contributions to the campus,” Franklin said.

Human Resource Service consultants Kathi Berntsen and Carolyn Hans, along with Franklin, are responsible for kicking off the Gold Star program. The idea came-up at meetings when employees would jokingly twist their index finger on their cheek and say so-and-so deserves a gold star for their efforts at work. Franklin observed a similar program at Arizona State University and decided to take on the project and implement the concept at UAA.

congratulations from UPD to UAA graduates
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“We wanted it to be simplistic and not allocate resources and wanted it to hit all levels of the university for employees,” Franklin said. “We hear about all the things people aren't doing right and complaints…well let's catch someone doing something right.”

UAA non-executive staff, faculty and students are eligible for prizes sponsored by Campus Diversity and Compliance, Human Resource Services and University Advancement. The Diversity Action Council also helped originate the pilot program.

The pilot will be reviewed and assessed in December for the programs success based on the number of tear-off tickets distributed and the amount tear-off tickets received. The departments involved in the pilot program and governance groups on campus will provide feedback on the project that not only recognizes individual excellence, but also encourages people embracing diversity.

“Join the club and catch someone doing a good thing,” Franklin said.