Sandia LabNews

Celebrating the victors


Employee Recognition Awards winners feted

The 2021 Employee Recognition Awards were held in New Mexico and California this week. Sandia celebrated employees who “have gone far above and beyond their described job duties and have been peer-nominated for their accomplishments,” HR Director Rob Nelson said.

At awards ceremonies held Tuesday in New Mexico and Thursday in California, Sandia celebrated the winners of the 2021 Employee Recognition Awards and their significant achievements.

Employee Recognition Awards recognize the accomplishments of the top individuals and teams whose efforts over the past year made the most significant contributions to the Labs’ success.

The socially distanced hybrid event in New Mexico and outdoor event in California followed local COVID-19 guidelines.

Human Resources Director Rob Nelson said, “This is the one time each year when we celebrate the Labs’ most significant accomplishments. Taking time to do that is so important.”

The six Employee Recognition Awards categories, revised over the past year and with safety and security integral to each, are: innovation; technical excellence; leadership; operational excellence; collaboration; and inclusion and diversity.

The list of winners includes descriptions of achievements between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020.

“Please join me in congratulating those who received an Employee Recognition Award,” Rob said.

Annually, following the nomination process, each division selects and advances two of its ERA winners for consideration for the Labs Director Awards, which further distinguish Sandians whose work had the greatest impact on the Labs’ overall success. Following the Labs Director’s in-depth evaluation and selection, the winners were announced during the Employee Recognition Awards celebrations. Winners receive a one-of-a-kind award along with a numbered coin redesigned for each year’s honors.

The honor of receiving an Employee Recognition Awards represents a long tradition across mission delivery and mission enabling organizations.

“These Sandians have gone far above and beyond their described job duties and have been peer-nominated for their accomplishments,” Rob said. “As a peer-to-peer award, this highlights that individuals at Sandia notice each other’s great work and take the initiative to acknowledge it.”

“The peer-to-peer aspect of the Employee Recognition Awards award has always made it highly meaningful,” Rob said, adding that the program is built on the assumption that those who work most closely with their colleagues know best who has made the greatest contribution during the preceding year.

Employee Recognition Awards nominees and winners have come up with novel improvements to processes or created innovations that have made a difference to their work and execution of the Labs’ mission.

“I’m inspired by the sheer breadth of nominations for so many types of accomplishments, across so many different areas,” Rob said. “It takes all of these to accomplish Sandia’s important mission.”

More information is available in the official ERA Program Guide.