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President's Awards for Exemplary Staff Service

Nomination Guidelines

The Annual President’s Awards for Exemplary Staff Service celebrate employees who have demonstrated outstanding service to the University community and/or who have made extraordinary contributions to the University community beyond what is normally expected in their job. The award is $2,000 in each of five(5) different categories and recipients are recognized at a special annual event.

  • Exemplary commitment to the University of Guelph and its promise to Improve Life through collaboration and inclusion
  • Makes an outstanding contribution to the University community by nurturing positive and respectful social interaction on this campus
  • Unexpected, unusual, or new/high standard of excellence above and beyond what is normally expected in their job


  • All current non-academic staff who have served a minimum of 2 years prior to nomination deadline
  • The nominee must be in active service at the time of the nomination deadline
  • An individual or team may be nominated more than once but may not receive an award more than once
  • An individual or team can be re-nominated in the subsequent year for a maximum of two years
  • All individuals nominated as part of a team must meet the same criteria

NOT Eligible:

  • Former award recipients
  • Former employees and retirees
  • Self-nominations

  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Retirees
  • Alumni

There are five (5) categories of awards, two (2) for individual nominations, one (1) for a team nomination and two (2) for either a team or individual nomination. When completing the 500 word submission consider including information specific to the selected categories:

  1. Innovative Leadership Recognition

    This award is to recognize and honour employees who are innovative thinkers and creative implementers, who take informed risks, make principled choices and inspire the people around them through their vision and leadership.

  2. Service Excellence Recognition (Eligible for individual only)

    This award is to recognize and honour employees who are on the front line and who, by their actions, motivate and inspire the people around them to excel in client service, including catalyzing discovery and change.

  3. Hidden Hero Award (Eligible for individual only)

    This award is to recognize and honour employees who in their role may be less visible but through their actions unselfishly support or mentor others to provide excellent service, consistent with nurturing our distinctive university culture

  4. Award of Excellence in Wellness, Health and Safety

    This award is for exemplary activity in fostering a culture of wellness, health and safety and contributing to a vibrant campus at the University of Guelph. This nomination is for individuals, teams or local health and safety committees who steward valued resources, and lead in advancing our commitment to each other and to the environment.

  5. Exemplary Team Recognition

    This award is to recognize and honour teams who have a shared commitment to providing exceptional service to the University and use their combined expertise to produce high quality results that advance the principles of our strategic framework.

  1. Tell their Story:
    • Write a story that provides clear and category-specific examples of why the nominee should be considered for the award.
    • The story must be no longer then 500 words (approximately 1 page single spaced) and saved as a Word document.
    • For more information on what to include in the story, read the "Tell their Story: Category Specific Examples" section below.
  2. Fill out the nomination form and attach their story to the form.
  3. Submit form (with attached story) by May 1st!


Specific examples of the ways in which the Nominee/Team demonstrates the following:

  • Strategy: Considers longer term needs and the capabilities that must be in place to address these needs.
  • Integrity: Achieves a high level of trust in relationships and approaches work in a judicious manner that promotes the University’s norms, values, beliefs, policies and procedures. Actions are consistent with words.
  • Influence: Generates enthusiasm and commitment to an objective by understanding the motivations, attitudes and positions of others.
  • Relationship Building: Builds a solid reputation with others as a reliable, accessible, knowledgeable source of information that always acts with integrity and follows through on commitments. Recognizes individual contributions to the success of a project

Specific examples of how the Nominee mentors, motivates or inspires others to excel at client service.


Specific examples of how the Nominee mentors, motivates or inspires others to provide excellent service.


Describe the role of the Team at the University of Guelph. Note that the definition of team is not intended to be equivalent to a department. Identify the roles of the individual team members and how they fit together as a team that is beyond what is normally expected in their job or it could be the role of the team on a specific project. Include specific examples of the ways in which the Team demonstrates the following:

  • Strong Performance: Team members work together to meet, and often exceed, the expectations of their internal and/or external clients.
  • Commitment: Team members are committed to supporting one another, as well as to achieving the goals of the team.
  • Positive Team Climate: Team members work well together, recognizing their collective accomplishments as well as the contribution of individuals.
  • Respect: Team members treat each other with courtesy and consideration, respecting diversity and different perspectives. Problem Solving- Team members collaborate effectively to find workable solutions to challenges.

Specific examples of the Nominee’s/Team leadership in wellness and/or health and safety in the workplace. Consider the individual or teams contributions to developing a thriving, workforce, organization and community that may include but is not limited to contributions to:

  • A healthy lifestyle
  • Mental health and workplace culture
  • Organizational social responsibility
  • The physical environment

In its deliberations, the Selection Committee may consider the following:

  • activities that warrant special consideration
  • breadth and depth of the impact of the nominee’s service or achievement
  • strength and clarity of the nomination
  • Representation of the broad range of occupations across the University

The nomination form and 500-word story must be submitted by May 1st.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Claire Alexander
Special Projects Manager
The Office of Ceremonies and Events
519-824-4120, Ext. 53098

Terms of Reference, updated 2018

In addition, consideration may be given to how well the awards represent the broad range of occupations across the University.

Recommended by the Vice-President (Finance, Administration and Risk) and appointed by the President, the Selection Committee for the awards will normally be drawn from alumni, members of the Board of Governors, college deans, department chairs, students and staff. Appointments to the Selection Committee will be made by the President prior to the May 1st nomination deadline each year.

The Vice-President (Finance, Administration and Risk) will chair the committee and a staff member in the Office of the President will serve as the committee’s Executive Secretary.

Appointments to the Selection Committee will normally be for a two-year term. No member may be appointed for more than two consecutive terms. A member of the Selection Committee who is nominated for an award will have the option of allowing the nomination to stand, in which case he or she will resign from the Selection Committee and a new member will be appointed by the President. A member of the Committee cannot act as a nominator.

One award in each of the five (5) categories may be presented annually to recipients recommended by the Selection Committee for approval by the President. The decision to recommend an award in each of the categories in any given year will be at the discretion of the Selection Committee.


  • Employee(s) selected will receive an award of $2,000 and a recognition award at a University event celebrating their contributions to the University of Guelph community.
  • Group or team awardees will share the cash award.
  • Recipients will have their name(s) added to an appropriate permanent form of institutional recognition.
  • All nominees who are not selected will receive recognition of nomination and can be re-nominated in the subsequent year.