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Aug 5th, 2021

MAFS Members,

Wow! Summer has flown by this year! It is the end of July and my kids are headed back to school in just a few short weeks. I hope you have all found time to relax and enjoy the warmer weather with friends and family.

Does your agency have an employee recognition program? Employee recognition has been shown to increase productivity and engagement, decrease employee turnover, improve team culture, and leads to greater job satisfaction. Employees want to feel valued and when employees feel appreciated, they tend to be more connected to their work, their team, and to the organization as a whole.

Over the last 5-6 years, our lab has implemented a formal employee recognition program. Employees are recognized for individual achievements, such as completion of training programs, reclassifications and promotions, longevity, and passing of certification exams. We also have “Employee of the Quarter” and “Employee of the Year”. These awards are presented to an employee for exemplary performance within the laboratory and who display our Laboratory Core Values. There is a formal process for nominating an employee/co-worker and then for the selection of an individual for these awards. The recognition includes a certificate, letter of appreciation, name/photo displayed within our laboratory, recognition in our agency-wide newsletter, a small monetary gift, and a reserved parking spot!

Another way our administration shows that we are valued and appreciated is during the week in which Employee Appreciation Day falls. This year, Employee Appreciation Day was on Friday, March 5th. That entire week, our Director and Assistant Director went around our lab with a snack and drink cart twice a day. They purchased a variety of snacks, sodas, coffees, etc. for us to choose from. Small tokens such as this can really make a difference in morale and feeling appreciated.

Did you know that MAFS also has a recognition program? Each year we accept nominations for the following awards:

  •      Certificate of Recognition: Awarded to an individual for service to MAFS or forensic science.
  •      New Scientist: Awarded to a MAFS member with less than 5 years of experience who demonstrates a high level of motivation and contribution to forensic science.
  •      Outstanding Scientist: Awarded to a MAFS member with more than 5 years of experience who demonstrates a high level of motivation, leadership and contribution to forensic science, has demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in casework, and has significant research or development of a method which greatly improves the capability or accuracy of forensic science analyses or examinations.
  •      Distinguished Service: Awarded to an individual with at least 15 years of experience in forensic science and 10 years as a MAFS member who has made outstanding contributions to MAFS and has shown dedication to improvement in the quality, recognition, and acceptance of MAFS of the field of forensic science.

Any member of MAFS may make a nomination to the Awards Committee at any time. Each year, the nomination deadline for the 3 main awards are two months prior to the fall meeting. Nominations for the Certificate of Recognition may be made at any time during the year. You may refer to the Administrative Rules and/or the Awards Committee for more details and how to nominate someone. Please consider recognizing a fellow MAFS member for the good things they do!

I look forward to seeing many of you at the fall meeting in Oakbrook, Illinois in a few months as we celebrate 50 years of MAFS!



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