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Spotlight on Outstanding Smith Employees

Human Resources recently announced a new program called Spotlight Awards that will recognize college employees for outstanding service. Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the program.

What are Spotlight Awards?
A Spotlight Award is a monetary award designed to acknowledge the contributions of employees who go above and beyond the everyday scope of their responsibilities, or those who have particularly excelled in the execution of a job duty. Spotlight Awards have a pre-taxed value of $150 and will be included in the recipient’s paycheck, usually within two weeks of receiving recognition. Recipients will also receive a Spotlight Award Certificate from his or her supervisor or department head. The Spotlight Awards Web page will acknowledge monthly award recipients by name and department, and will announce the reason each received the award.

How many employees are eligible for a Spotlight Award?
Through this new program, up to 60 staff members will be acknowledged for their contributions to Smith each year.

How does it differ from a bonus?
Bonuses will continue to recognize notable work or achievements that have a significant impact campus-wide like a major project implementation. Spotlight Awards will be more narrow in scope and will acknowledge positive attitudes, resourcefulness, completion of a smaller project, etc.

Who is eligible to receive a Spotlight Award?
All full- and part-time administrative and administrative support staff, as well as staff in participating unions, who have been employed at the College for at least one year and who are below the level of department head are eligible to receive a Spotlight Award.

What are the criteria for receiving a Spotlight Award?
Spotlight awards are intended to acknowledge the contributions of individuals who go above and beyond the every day scope of their responsibilities, or those who have particularly excelled in the execution of a job duty. These contributions might include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing exceptional customer service to students, faculty, or staff
  • Producing high quality work under a tight deadline
  • Keeping operations running smoothly during a time of transition
  • Implementing a new system or procedure that saves time or money
  • Fostering camaraderie and collaboration within a department
  • Boosting morale or creating a positive, inclusive work environment
  • Accomplishing a one-time, noteworthy achievement


How is an employee nominated for a Spotlight Award?
All employees of the College are encouraged to nominate a staff colleague by submitting a nomination form which will be located on the Spotlight Awards page at Supervisors and managers may nominate a staff member for a reward as well. Senior Administrators will review and approve nominations, and supervisors will distribute Spotlight Award certificates. Human Resources will administer the program.

Can teams be nominated for a spotlight award?
No. Employees who are part of a team may be nominated for a Spotlight Award, however, they must be submitted individually.

How many awards will each department receive?
Each Senior Administrator will receive an allotment of Spotlight Awards proportional to the size of the division.

Can a Spotlight Award be provided for an achievement which occurred prior to September 1, 2007?
Because the criteria and guidelines for the Spotlight Award program were not widely available until the September 15, 2007 roll-out, only achievements made from that date forward are eligible for Spotlight Awards.

What is the Spotlight Award cycle?
During the first year of the program, Spotlight Awards will be distributed on a rolling basis from September 15, 2007 through March 31, 2008. Subsequently, the Spotlight Award cycle will run from April 1-March 31.

Can an employee receive more than one Spotlight Award each year?

How are the Spotlight Awards disbursed?
Senior Administrators will receive nominations for staff working in their areas and select Spotlight Award recipients. Additionally, they will inform Human Resources when a selection has been made. HR will then notify Payroll. The pre-taxed value of $150.00 will be included in the recipient’s pay check usually within 2 weeks of receiving recognition. Human Resources will track all awards.

Will there be other ways for staff to acknowledge Spotlight Award recipients?

Yes! In late April, Human Resources will host an informal and fun Spotlight Awards Reception for the entire Smith community to honor all recipients. Recipients will be eligible to participate in a grand prize drawing.

How can I relay feedback about this new employee recognition program?

Human Resources is looking forward to receiving feedback from the Smith community on this pilot program. Your feedback will help us evaluate its success during the summer of 2008. Please mail your comments to Jenny Silver @ 30 Belmont Avenue, or email Jenny at








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