UCSF Launches New Recognition Platform to Encourage Culture of Gratitude

Recognize.ucsf.edu is an Online Way to Offer Positive Feedback

By Lisa Cisneros

UC San Francisco has launched a web-based recognition platform designed to make it easy for employees to say “thank you” for their work.

“Recognition from managers or peers is a wonderful way to reinforce our PRIDE values of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence,” said Jeff Chiu, vice president of Human Resources for UCSF Health. “And acknowledging an employee’s best work goes a long way toward making them feel valued and appreciated.”

Accessible via MyAccess, the new “Recognize” platform allows anyone at UCSF to offer positive feedback so that appreciation can easily flow in every direction. Senders can choose either a simple email recognition or a “digital card” with more features.

Any recognition sent to an individual through recognize.ucsf.edu automatically gets posted to the site and notifies the recipient’s supervisor by email that one of their employees has been lauded.

“At UCSF, recognition can and should come in many forms, ranging  from official awards like the Chancellor Awards and PRIDE awards to informal verbal shout outs, handwritten notes and the “THANKS” program that began in the Medical Center seven years ago,” said Susan Pappas, division director of UCSF Health Experience. “Recognize.ucsf.edu is a new tool for members of the UCSF community to brighten someone’s day with a simple ‘thank you.’”

All recognitions, along with major UCSF honors and awards, get posted to the site and are visible to the entire UCSF community. The new platform can help build a sense of community as people can follow one another, “like” their co-workers’ recognitions and view a daily digital feed of who’s doing commendable work at UCSF.

The website was designed and developed based on interviews, feedback and testing conducted throughout UCSF. It is responsive and accessible through a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, giving anyone the power to quickly thank anyone else regardless of where they are located at UCSF. It also incorporates the existing THANKS program that allows both health system and campus employees to send a digital e-card.

Recognize.ucsf.edu is the product of cross-campus collaboration, involving staff from Campus Life Services, Human Resources, UCSF Health Experience and the School of Medicine’s Information Services Unit.

One of a number of offerings as part of the Great People, Great Place initiative, the debut of the recognition platform could help employees feel more appreciated. A recent internal survey of 4,575 employees found that about one-fourth of respondents say they do not feel valued as an employee at UCSF.

Mounting research shows that workplace recognition programs can go a long way in boosting employees’ self-esteem and promoting a spirit of goodwill that ripples throughout an organization.

In fact, effective workplace recognition programs are attributed to increased employee engagement, productivity and loyalty to the institution, which can lead to better business outcomes, higher retention and lower turnover, according to research conducted by Gallup, Forbes and other organizations.

Recognition also shows others what good work looks like, reinforcing an institution’s values and encouraging an attitude of gratitude for employees’ noteworthy contributions.

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.