Learning & Organizational Development


Recognizing our employees is a priority at East Carolina University.  Many studies on the work place have shown that being recognized for achievements, knowing that one's contributions matter to the organization, and the opportunity for growth and professional development have a considerable impact on employee satisfaction, morale, and commitment.  There are several employee recognition programs that provide an opportunity to recognize and thank staff and faculty for their dedication, commitment, and contributions to East Carolina University.  ECU's employees are its greatest assets, and the members of the ECU community are central to every success, every improvement, and every triumph.

ECU Centennial Awards for Excellence

The Centennial Awards for Excellence represents the highest award given to ECU faculty and staff for excellence in each of the following categories:
Service, Leadership, Ambition, and Spirit


ECU Treasured Pirate Award

In an effort to acknowledge the everyday contributions of employees, the Treasured Pirate Award Program is an "on the spot" award designed to recognize East Carolina University employees for a special or unique contribution to their college/unit or the University. This program recognizes permanent SHRA, CSS, non-teaching EHRA and EHRA employees at the college/unit level. The program provides recipients an award certificate and a gift of the recipient's choice from the Treasured Pirate Reward Gift Catalog

A specified number of awards will be available to each college/unit according to the number of employee in the college/unit. Each award is given to an individual employee, not a group or team. Each college/unit develops its own specific award criteria. The following is a list of overall criteria categories:   

Effective Leadership
Cost Effectiveness     
Enhancing Employee Morale
Outstanding Delivery of Service
Display of Creativity and/or Initiative

If you would like to nominate an employee, please go to PiratePort, and click on "Treasured Pirate". Here you will be prompted to complete a nomination form. After a department has selected an employee to receive the Treasured Pirate Award, the Division coordinator will be notified and the Department of Human Resources will submit the information to the Learning and Organizational Development Unit.  

NC State Service Award

The NC State Service Award Program is designed to serve as a sign of the University's appreciation towards the dedicated service its employees provide to the State of North Carolina and that of the UNC education system throughout their career. Service awards are presented to each eligible employee at milestone dates in their career (every five years) until retirement.  Years of service are based on historical data in the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS). Years of eligible service are determined according to the number of full-time years that an employee has contributed to the TSERS or ORP by the end of the previous calendar year.  If an employee has had a break in service or a period where he/she did not contribute to the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System or Optional Retirement Program, that lapsed period would not be applied toward receiving a Service Award. 

Service Awards are initiated in two phases: The first phase honors each employee with five ten, fifteen, through twenty-five years of State service with a Certificate of Service and an order form to select a gift reward.  The second phase honors each employee with thirty, thirty-five, forty, or more years of State service with a Certificate of Service and an order form to select a gift award during a recognition ceremony and reception hosted by the Chancellor. It is very important to the Chancellor, the University, and the State of North Carolina that each eligible employee is appropriately recognized for his/her service to the State of North Carolina and East Carolina University. 

NC Thinks Award 

NC Thinks is North Carolina's strategic suggestion system. The mission of NC Thinks is to save tax dollars by engaging employees in workplace improvement related to organizational objectives. As an incentive to participate, employees are handsomely recognized and rewarded for submitting creative ideas that support organizational objectives. While pride and job satisfaction are the greatest rewards, suggesters whose idea is selected may receive cash awards up to $20,000 for an individual award or up to $100,000 for a team. Also, selected suggesters can receive up to three days leave with pay and a certificate from the Governor's Office.  

Full-time, part-time and temporary state paid employees of the State of North Carolina are eligible to receive this award. Eligible suggestions include those that offer improvements in safety, costs, productivity, working conditions, services to the public, energy resources, or employee morale.  Eligible suggestions must be innovative ideas that the employee cannot implement without supervisor approval. Ideas that are NOT eligible include ideas that are currently under consideration, duplicate ideas, common practices, complaints, grievances, salary/classification/benefit changes, enforcement of existing rules and regulations, or routine maintenance matters.
For more information about the program, and to learn how you can submit a suggestion go to the NC Thinks website.

Informal recognition can be used every day to acknowledge contributions of individuals, teams, and work groups. As with all recognition, it should be tied to a specific behavior or activity that you want to reinforce. Download and Print an ECU Recognition of Appreciation Certificate.

Recognition Guidelines and Suggestions - There are many ways to say thanks for a job well done. Find ideas that work best for you and your team.