Dear Department Heads and Supervisors,
As you know, UTMB is only as good as the people we employ. As managers, we have a charge to hire good people, to support and foster their development, to recognize their achievements and to say “thanks.”
We have a tool available to you to help with some of these charges—the GEM Program. Begun in 2000, the “Going the Extra Mile” program has been successful in rewarding and recognizing our most valuable assets: our employees, students and volunteers. More than 30,000 GEM cards have been granted since the program began, and there have been more than 7,000 entries in our annual drawings (for individuals who have earned three GEM cards.) The program reinforces our commitment to professionalism and service, and allows you and others in your area a means of recognizing those who routinely exhibit exemplary characteristics.
We've taken what we've learned these past years and recently renovated the program. We changed the look to make it more consistent with UTMB's identity and colors, and streamlined some processes to make them more efficient. We also changed the guidelines to be able to recognize more winners in our annual drawings. Here's what's new:
Drawing Entry Process – The process of submitting a drawing entry form—used to submit an employee's name after she or he has received three cards—is now online. The online form is at www.utmb.edu/gem/entryform.
Prizes – We are currently drawing fifty names—once per year—and awarding each honoree a UTMB branded item.
GEM Stories – We are interested in hearing more about why and how our employees, students and volunteers are extraordinary. Tell us more about examples of superior service, caring and compassion that we know are part of campus life every day. We might arrange to use some of those stories in Impact , on Employee Service Day and in university marketing. The web page to submit your stories is www.utmb.edu/gem/stories.
The GEM program is a very cost-effective way for us to recognize those employees, students and volunteers who exhibit the types of professional behaviors and attitudes we want to be even more widespread on our campus.
As a supervisor, I encourage you to participate in the program. Use it personally, as a way to offer a “pat on the back” to others. Also, encourage your employees and staff to use the program to recognize their peers. When a job is really done well, we can't say thanks enough. Please join me in continuing to make this program a success and in highlighting members of our UTMB family who are truly “Going the Extra Mile.”
David L. Callender, MD, MBA, FACS