CNM Employee Recognition Initiatives and Suggestions

The CNM Employee Recognition Team has gathered feedback on the various ways departments recognize and honor CNM employees. The team hopes this list will offer ideas, suggestions and inspiration to other departments looking to create or revamp employee recognition initiatives.

If you'd like to include your department recognition initiatives in the list, please fill out the Employee Recognition Initiatives Form.


Institutional Employee Recognition Initiatives




CNM staff and faculty come together for a day to re-energize and refocus on the College's strategic directions while recognizing outstanding employee contributions.

CNM Authors Event

Each spring CNM honors all faculty and staff who have published or composed original creative works.

CNM Employee of the Year

CNM honors excellence by recognizing one outstanding employee from each division of the College. (Cash award sponsored by PNM.)

PNM Student Pick Faculty Award

Each year PNM sponsors the recognition of outstanding CNM Faculty.


Department/Division Recognition Initiatives


Initiative Descriptions

Financial Aid
Student Services

About a year ago our departmental Leadership team came with the idea of recognizing our staff members for doing something that needed to be applauded. A nomination form was created; nomination forms are to be completed and submitted by a deadline to admin coordinator. When the leadership team meets, three members are selected to become the committee who reviews the nomination forms and selects the "superstar" for the month. At our staff meeting which is once a month all nominees and the superstar winner are recognized and presented with a certificate by the director. The superstar received a $15 dollar movie ticket certificate and a free breakfast burrito.

Job Connection Services
Student Services

1. Flexibility Frog. We pass a frog that has stretchable arms and legs. This is given to someone who adapts, is a positive way, to a changing environment. 2. Encouragement board: We have an Expo Board in the lunch room. We post "Happy Birthday", "Welcome Back", "Congrats" notes. The staff then writes personalized notes to the person and signs it. 3. Excellence award. Our group routinely nominates others for excellence awards. We get together to create the nomination. When the person gets the award, we celebrate – not only the recipient – but ourselves for recognizing others. 4. At semi-monthly meeting, we give kudos to fellow staff members. The kudos portion is written into the agenda. 5. Together with Academic Advisement, we had a retreat. Awards were given for outstanding work all were thanked for the work we do. 6. One staff member creates a "book" for staff members. For the book, she asks staff members to contribute messages and quotes for the person. She puts them in a book and ties it with a bow. She gives this out for birthdays, farewells and for encouragement. 7. We create a recognition board for student employees during "recognition week". They also get a bag of treats.

Academic Advisement
Student Services

Awards/Certificates: we recently introduced a peer-to-peer employee recognition system where employees are encouraged to nominate their colleagues for an award. The management team will select from the nominations and publicly recognize the employee for a job well done and award the employee with a certificate and a gift card. Special Kudos: letters of compliment are read publicly at staff meetings and forwarded to higher student services administration. Other Forms of Employee Recognition: AAJCS Employees are nominated for individual and team excellence awards through the CNM Employee recognition systems. Point of service surveys often compliment staff performance. I think our department recognition system needs improvement. Our peer-to-peer recognition system is just starting so it is too early to evaluate.

CNM Connect/Campus Administration
Student Services

Employee Recognition program to nominate employees for outstanding service. Celebrate birthdays with cake and ice cream and get the team together to share and to sign a Happy Birthday card

Campus Administration (Rio Rancho)
Student Services

Staff throw a potluck for special occasions, staff kudos, etc., along with a card and gift.

Enrollment Services
Student Services

Potlucks on a monthly basis, we use the fish award that is placed on our desk by our supervisor for a job well done. It's done weekly. Usually certificates that go along with the fish. Enrollment services newsletter.

Student Services

Burritos at beginning of each term from Phillip Bustos and Eugene Padilla.

CNM Connect/Campus Administration
Student Services

Potlucks and acknowledge people's accomplishments while in staff meetings.

Student Employees
Student Services

Annual SEAR event; luncheon offered for student employees; students are served lunch and given certificates of recognition.

Disability Resource Center
Student Services

Occasional group lunches off campus. It is not only a time of good fellowship but we also do recognition activities as appropriate. In addition we have a program called "the Eagle Soars" whereby any employee can give the eagle to another employee when they feel that their co-worker has gone above and beyond in assisting students or performing another service that is beyond what they or the customer would expect. The eagle, by the way, is a hand carved wooden sculpture that is very attractive and sits on their desk until they, the last recipient, pass it to another colleague. We also participate in the existing recognition programs through CNM.


Emailed kudos to the group on a monthly basis. Recognition at staff meetings. Nominations for employee excellence awards. Supervisor recognition of team. Periodic potlucks to celebrate people and holidays. Treat employees to meals. Bring in treats such as coffee, etc. to surprise employees. Encourage employees to submit work for awards from national organizations to receive kudos from peers throughout the country.

President/Vice Presidents Offices
President/Vice Presidents

Annual Service Awards Banquet honoring 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40-year employees and retirees. Happens annually in March of every year. Gifts are purchases for honorees and distributed at a dinner. Administrative Professional's Day – Recognized by most Vice President's and Presidents. Administrative Staff – Recognize fellow co-worker's birthdays; celebrate with cake and a card signed by coworkers. AVAILABLE FOR ALL: "BRIGHT SPOT" cards to send of anyone that does something above and beyond. "YOU WERE RECOGNIZED" postcards to send to anyone that does something above and beyond.

Finance and Operations

Employee recognition is discussed in our weekly departmental meetings in purchasing. It is discussed in bi-weekly meetings with my managers for records and DPC/SR. Monthly birthday pizza party/potlucks along with a card. End of the year before winter break potlucks. Occasionally purchase gift cards for people outside the department that assisted our department above and beyond. Pay for lunch or other food. Give the student employees or other recognition when they go above and beyond.

Information Technology Services
Finance and Operations

When an ITS employee receives KUDOS from our user community – we (the respective Director and Executive Director) make it a point to include our appreciation to those who send the KUDOS and to the receiving employee. In addition, we host an appreciation lunch for our staff twice a year. We have a CNM Foundation account we use to fund the lunch or social.

Physical Plant Department
Finance and Operations

Annual barbeque in May – attended by all PPD (operations, maintenance, and PPD administration including student employees). Annual holiday event in December. Annual student employee recognition event – all PPD student employees. Lunch, cake and goodie bags. Recognition plaques for PPD retirees. Food and cake. Operations: quarterly lunches held for operations staff only. Maintenance – Uniform, caps and jackets (personalized for each maintenance staff member).

Applied Technologies
Academic Affairs

Applied Technologies Excellence Awards, Industry awards/certificates for faculty, Mention of achievements/accomplishments in our weekly e-newsletter, All-school barbeque.

Communication, Humanities & Social Sciences
Academic Affairs

Our Administration always recognizes the support staff on administrative professionals day.

Distance Learning
Academic Affairs

"Wall of Fame" – compliments/kudos received via email and posted on wall surrounding cubicles, You Tube – video of the week, list of birthdays to all staff, farewell luncheons/celebration, birthdays, opportunities for professional development including support, support for degree advancement and tuition reimbursement.

Academic Affairs

Birthday cards, farewell luncheons.

Business & Information Technology
Academic Affairs

Biz Group identifies someone who has gone above and beyond in the school and creates thank you notes for faculty, staff and employees at each two week meeting. The dean, ADs and chairs write a note and sign it. Dean of BIT sends out Christmas cards to chairs and members of Biz group (mgt team) including a ticket for a free lunch out. BIT hosts annual Christmas party at Burt's Tiki Lounge each year. BIT Biz group participates in Admin support week and gives each admin support specialist a card and gift certificate annually. Dean recognizes outstanding faculty members at each school meeting from letters written by students. Baked goods by Culinary Arts to JMMC and other departments (Facilities, DPC, Purchasing). Birthday cards and cakes.

Health, Wellness & Public Safety
Academic Affairs

Administration provides special Friday treats for staff in office. Root Beer floats, popsicles, donuts impromptu for staff. Birthday recognitions with cakes or snacks for admin.

Math, Science & Engineering
Academic Affairs

We typically have a "party" (more of a gathering, usually in the MSE conference room) for people who are leaving (retiring or resigning). We have a "Holiday lunch celebration" here in the office the last day before Christmas break.

School of Adult & General Education
Academic Affairs

Our Instructional Leadership Team (consisting of the Dean, Associate Deans, and Chairs) usually decide on faculty recognition annually. Our Dean does some recognition at the fall meeting of faculty who have made some special contributions in the last year (primarily College Service type things) and they are presented a certificate at the SAGE all school meeting. Last year, we also had some recognition for retiring faculty. It is more of an informal process. We have a potluck with a cake/cupcakes with the staff's name as well as a verbal recognition