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Performance Management Handbook (Recognition Section) Appendix G

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APPENDIX G. Honor Awards Criteria

Each operating unit must verify internally that there is no information that would negatively affect the nominations. The Offices of Inspector General, General Counsel, Security, Human Resources, and Civil Rights will advise the Department’s Incentive Awards Board in determining that each nominee has demonstrated qualities of strength, leadership, integrity, industry, and personal conduct commensurate with the level expected of Gold or Silver Medal recipients. The Department’s Incentive Awards Board will remove from consideration any nominee found not possessing these qualities.

Gold Medal

The highest honorary award granted by the Secretary. A Gold Medal is defined as distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, notable, or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department and/or one operating unit and which reflect favorably on the Department. To warrant a Gold Medal, a contribution must focus on qualitative and quantitative performance measures reflected in the Department's Strategic Plan and be identified in one of the following areas: leadership, personal and professional excellence, scientific/engineering achievement, organizational development, customer service, administrative/technical support, or heroism.

Silver Medal

The second highest honorary award granted by the Secretary. A Silver Medal is defined as exceptional performance characterized by noteworthy or superlative contributions, which have a direct and lasting impact within the Department. To warrant a Silver Medal, a contribution must focus on qualitative and quantitative performance measures reflected in the Department's Strategic Plan and be identified in one of the following areas: leadership, personal and professional excellence, scientific/engineering achievement, organizational development, customer service, administrative/technical support, or heroism.

Bronze Medal

The highest honorary award granted by a head of an operating unit or Secretarial Officer or equivalent. A Bronze Medal is defined as superior performance characterized by outstanding or significant contributions, which have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of the operating unit. To warrant a Bronze Medal, a contribution must focus on qualitative and quantitative performance measures reflected in the Department's Strategic Plan and be identified in one of the following areas: leadership, personal and professional excellence, scientific/engineering achievement, organizational development, customer service, administrative/technical support, or heroism.

Categories

Leadership

Recognizes personal leadership and management of an organization that produces substantial, innovative achievements, resulting in high quality service to the agency.
In addition, this area recognizes:

  • Creativity and innovation;
  • External awareness;
  • Flexibility;
  • Resilience;
  • Motivation;
  • Strategic thinking;
  • Vision.

Achievements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Significant improvements in program effectiveness;
  • Efficient use of resources;
  • Sensitive and difficult assignments of major importance achieved through great personal initiative, commitment, effort, and competence;
  • Improvement in labor-management relations;
  • Leadership which encourages employee freedom to make decisions and to maximize the scope for individual initiative within a given job;
  • Acumen in developing breakthrough strategies or concepts in finding new and effective ways of accomplishing the agency's mission;
  • Leadership in the productive use of teams that cross organizational and agency boundaries;
  • Leadership which models and rewards behaviors conducive to the effective management of diversity.

Personal and Professional Excellence

Recognizes those who demonstrate an outstanding level of accomplishment in furthering the agency's mission.

Achievements are to be derived from all occupations and functional areas of the Department, including, but not limited to:

  • Administration;
  • Information technology;
  • Labor-management relations;
  • Legal;
  • Trade.

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Recognizes scientific/engineering or technological breakthroughs that:

  • Resolve longstanding problems;
  • Radically advance the state-of-the-art;
  • Significantly impact Commerce or the economy;
  • Significantly advance the understanding, knowledge, or mastery of a given discipline.

Achievements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Authorship or editorship that affects the primary principles of the discipline involved;
  • Opening up new fields of inquiry;
  • Redefining major issues of investigation;
  • Contributions to the body of knowledge in a given field.

Organizational Development

Recognizes those whose accomplishments contribute to creating an organization culture that is constantly learning and growing; one which maximizes employee potential and fosters high ethical standards.

Achievements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Designing and implementing successful organization-wide programs which facilitate meeting management/supervisory responsibilities for mentoring and coaching;
  • Being widely recognized as an individual whose capabilities and relationships have had a direct and positive impact on the career development of a significant number of others;
  • Creating an environment in which teamwork thrives, one which reflects knowledge sharing, trust, pride, commitment, self-direction, and group identity, and one in which teams have produced extraordinary results.

Customer Service

Recognizes those who provide or foster a culture, which nurtures world-class customer service.

Achievements in customer service may include, but are not limited to:

  • Activities related to establishing measurements and standards for improving service;
  • Implementing and continuously assessing performance against standards for improvements.

Accomplishments are expressed in measurable terms, such as:

  • Cycle time;
  • Cost reduction;
  • Increased courtesy;
  • Quality to customers.

Administrative/Technical Support

Recognizes those who demonstrate an outstanding level of accomplishment in providing administrative and technical support.

Achievements reflect dedication and hard work which enable or assist the work of their fellow employees and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Advancing the goals of the team, office, division, operating unit, or Department through outstanding performance;
  • Creative or innovative problem solving;
  • Developing new systems, methods, or procedures.

Heroism

Recognizes a special one-time service or act of heroism by an employee or group of employees that is in the public interest or connected with or related to official employment. Heroism is defined as exhibiting courage, daring, and self-sacrifice.

Achievements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Voluntarily risking one's own life, knowingly, while saving or attempting to save the life of another person;
  • Displaying extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in assisting law enforcement officers, firefighters, or search and rescue professionals in saving or attempting to save the life of another person;
  • Demonstrating courage in risking one's own life to protect or preserve government or private property.



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