Recognition and awards

Recognition awards encourage excellence in university service, recognize and reward individual achievements and contributions, and recognize and reward team achievements or contributions. When you recognize employees effectively, you reinforce the actions and behaviors you most want to see those employees repeat. Recognizing employee accomplishments and efforts is just one tool available to managers in engaging, developing, and retaining good employees. These guidelines provide details on formal award options and informal ways to provide recognition.

Rather than recognizing overall performance, recognition awards acknowledge one or more specific instances of exemplary performance. They reward employees who demonstrate behaviors and values of the organization (customer service, teamwork, problem-solving, safety, productivity, etc.) and contribute to the goals and objectives of the organization or department. Receipt of a recognition award in this program does not preclude the same employee from receiving honorary recognition or an increase based on performance (when authorized by the Governor and General Assembly) when criteria for such recognition are otherwise met.

Recognition awards should not be used in place of paying overtime or compensatory time, and they are not meant to replace other traditional methods of recognition, but rather to increase supervisors' options in rewarding and reinforcing employee excellence. The formal awards also are not intended to recognize the length of an employee’s service or to be used as a “holiday or birthday bonus.” There are cost-free methods for recognizing those kinds of events (see section entitled “Additional No/Low-Cost Recognition Ideas”).

Non-monetary (non-cash) awards are not permitted, regardless of source of funds. Non-monetary awards include any non-refundable gift (e.g., tangible gift items, such as prints, season tickets, gift baskets, etc.) or gift certificate.