Improving UT Health’s service anniversary recognition

At UT Health San Antonio, we continually strive to improve our culture. A culture focused on excellence in everything we do will help support our university’s significant growth goals. We know appreciation and recognition are crucial to building an engaging workplace culture because it plays an essential role in employee retention, attraction and engagement.

In our most recent faculty and staff engagement surveys, we heard from employees that we have room for improvement in helping employees feel valued. With a renewed focus on recognition and appreciation, UT Health San Antonio can build a cultural foundation for change, innovation and a spirit of accomplishment.

As our organization researched leading practices in better demonstrating value for employees, we learned that the most important thing a manager/supervisor can do is to recognize the employee for their contributions and service. In a survey by HR industry leader O.C. Tanner, employees were asked what is the most important thing your manager can do to cause you to produce great work and almost 40 percent responded, “Recognize me.”

Based on our desire to improve the culture and better recognize employee contributions, UT Health San Antonio is now working with O.C. Tanner to introduce a more robust service recognition program. This new program comes complete with new tools, new programs and more support for managers and supervisors to recognize years of service and the invaluable contributions made by our more than 6,300 employees.

Beginning this month, UT Health will roll out new and added benefits to our service anniversary recognition program. We will continue to celebrate milestone anniversaries of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years served here at our university, or in combination with any UT institution. And we will now offer many more and timelier opportunities for managers to recognize employees and invite colleagues to join in the celebration.

Here is how it works:

  • Each month, managers/supervisors will receive multiple emails from notifying them of their employee’s milestone anniversary.
  • The manager will be given tools and ideas to coordinate a meaningful acknowledgement of the employee’s service anniversary and contributions to the unit.
  • Employees celebrating 20 years of service or more will receive communication inviting them to a personalized website to select a gift of their choice. The gift will be mailed directly to the employee’s home. It will be important that employees ensure that a current mailing address is on file.
  • To recognize those employees with 5, 10 and 15 years of service, a new commemorative acrylic numeral featuring the designated years of service and with the employee’s name inscribed will be provided. The HR Partner will coordinate delivery with the employee’s manager.for a more personal distribution.
  • There are new features including a digital Yearbook™ that allows your colleagues to provide more personal, memorable and meaningful ways to share how much you are valued, which is available for those employees celebrating 20+ years of service.
  • Onsite service recognition celebrations will still be held on campus for those celebrating 5, 10 and 15 years. Managers, co-workers, families and friends are all still invited to attend this special event, which will continue to be held twice per year.
  • For those employees celebrating 20 years or more of service, a special event will be held off-site one time per year. Once the details are finalized, these employees will receive more information about the event.

As changes to our service anniversary recognition are rolled out, be on the lookout for communication from This is the email address from which service anniversary communications will come. More information about the changes to this program and the anticipated benefits will also be ongoing.

We are excited to announce these improvements in a very important program for our institution. As we pursue a culture of excellence, we recognize appreciation changes everything. As we execute our strategic plan and grow our organization significantly over the next few years, we want to stoke a culture where talent becomes expertise … where potential becomes performance.

At UT Health, we want our employees to look around and see possibilities everywhere, in everything. Our culture inspires to invent, to create, to discover, to change the world. As we build our culture of excellence, we understand appreciation for our employees does not just mean to notice, to value and to understand. It means to grow.


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