VANCOUVER, Wash. — The American Psychological Association saluted Washington State University Vancouver as one of 15 companies nationwide to offer innovative programs or policies that support psychologically healthy work environments.

WSU Vancouver and 14 fellow honorees, including Southwest Airlines and Hunter Douglas, were recognized for their ongoing commitment to workplace health and well-being.

The key to maintaining a satisfied workforce at WSU Vancouver is its inclusive policy of encouraging employees from all departments and at all levels to share ways the university could be made better, said Jeanne Greene, human resource director at WSU Vancouver. This policy helped lead to the creation of an employee recognition program that has helped maintain a sense of belonging and commitment to the campus during its continual growth.

The program was established by Kristine Brown, a senior secretary in nursing programs, who earmarked her 2002 contribution to the annual faculty and staff fundraising campaign to the creation of a program that recognizes the outstanding contributions of employees each month. The employee recognition was enthusiastically received and today enjoys the support of numerous employee donors.

Each of the organizations honored was nominated for the national recognition by their state’s psychological association. National honors are awarded to those organization’s whose unique program or policy stands out among the rest. The annual award program, implemented by 28 states, highlights a variety of businesses and organizations from large to small and profit to non-profit. The judging process evaluates applicants using four criteria, including employee involvement, family support, employee growth and development and health and safety.

“These companies and their best practices serve as a model for corporate America, which is beginning to understand that employees are their best asset,” says Russ Newman, Ph.D., J.D., APA’s executive director for professional practice.

So far, 13 WSU Vancouver classified employees nominated by the campus community have been honored since the program’s inception.  Employees of the month receive a complimentary lunch, a framed certificate, recognition in the university’s electronic newsletter and special mention by Chancellor Hal Dengerink at the annual campus convocation.