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1413c - Department Recognition

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  1. The development and maintenance of Departmental Recognition Programs acknowledges individual employees or teams who demonstrate excellence and innovation in meeting the objectives of a Department, Board or Agency.  These programs assist in motivating the public service as they provide an effective and comprehensive way for employees to be recognized at the department level.



  1. In conjunction with the Employee Recognition Policy, these guidelines and procedures apply to all employees, except those employed by the NWT Power Corporation.  Participation in department recognition awards is on a voluntary basis.



  1. Corporate Human Resources is the Corporate Human Resources Division of the Department of Human Resources.
  2. Management and Recruitment Services is the Management and Recruitment Services Division of the Department of Human Resources.
  3. Deputy Head means the senior public service employee of a Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Department, Board or Agency.
  4. Non-cash awards means awards excluding cash or items that are equivalent to cash such as stocks, bonds, raw precious metals and gift certificates.
  5. Formal recognition means department-wide recognition administered through a formal nomination process.
  6. Informal recognition means the acknowledgement of day-to-day accomplishments in the workplace through an informal means.



  1. Departments, Boards and Agencies are encouraged to provide regular formal and informal recognition to their employees. 
  2. Deputy Heads may assign a department representative as recognition coordinator.
  3. Co-workers, peers, clients, supervisors or subordinates may nominate recipients of department recognition.
  4. Care should be taken to provide a form of recognition that is appropriate for the recipient(s).  This may require consultation with the recipient, a team member or his/her peers.
  5. All employees should be consulted before administering public forms of recognition.  Consent must be obtained before publicizing the names of award recipients.
  6. At an employee’s request and in lieu of a non-cash award, Departments, Boards and Agencies may make a charitable donation on behalf of the employee to a charity of the employee’s choice registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.  Such donations are made at the discretion of the Deputy Head.
  7. Departments, Board and Agencies are responsible for implementation, communication and all approved costs related to department recognition including awards, certificates and social events.
  8. Department recognition awards do not include travel costs for employees to attend a function.
  9. The purchase of alcoholic beverages is not an eligible expenditure.

Formal Recognition Process

  1. Formal recognition will be considered for employees or teams who have made outstanding contributions and accomplishments which best reflect the Department's corporate objectives.  The following are accomplishments that may lead to recognition:
    1. creative solutions resulting in improvement to systems or processes;
    2. exceptional performance on an ongoing basis;
    3. outstanding dedication to special projects or activities;
    4. unique contributions that demonstrate excellence and innovation;
    5. ongoing collaboration or support of a team effort;
    6. exceptional service provided to co-workers;
    7. outstanding contributions to the department; and/or
    8. personal milestones that support department objectives.
  2. Selection of award recipients in the formal recognition process may be completed by:
    1. Nominations may be reviewed and approved by a formal recognition committee consisting of employees from their respective Department, Board or Agency.  Attachment "B" provides sample terms of reference for the administration of an employment recognition committee. Employees may be nominated for formal recognition by submitting a Formal Recognition Form to the employee recognition committee.
    2. Deputy Heads may delegate the responsibility for reviewing and approving nominations of a Department, Board or Agency to a departmental recognition coordinator.
    3. Deputy Heads may review and approve nominations for their respective Department, Board or Agency.
  3. It is recommended that nominations be reviewed and recipients awarded on at least an annual basis.
  4. In addition to a congratulatory letter, departments are encouraged to give each award recipient a token of appreciation to mark the occasion.  The respective Minister may sign congratulatory letters.  The letter should include a description of the employee's accomplishment and be copied to the employee's personnel file.  If applicable, employees should be provided a choice of award to ensure that it is suitable and appropriate.
  5. Allowable costs of non-cash awards for formal recognition shall not exceed:
    1. Individual recognition - up to $75.00 per employee;
    2. Team recognition - up to $75.00 per team member.

Informal Recognition Process

  1. Informal recognition is the acknowledgement of day-to-day accomplishments in the workplace by co-workers, peers, managers, supervisors and/or subordinates.  It may include one-on-one acknowledgement or a public form of recognition.
  2. Managers may support recognition of employees outside of the formal recognition process by approving expenditures for awards as recommended by clients, peers, supervisors and/or subordinates.
  3. Allowable costs of non-cash awards for informal recognition shall not exceed:
    1. Individual recognition - up to $25.00 per employee; and
    2. Team recognition - up to $25.00 per team member.



Formal Recognition Procedure

  1. Deputy Heads, can request Management and Recruitment Services to assist in the development and coordination of Department Recognition Programs.
  2. For formal recognition, Deputy Heads issue an annual call for nominations and identify a primary contact for all inquiries.
  3. The Deputy Head and the department recognition committee or coordinator reviews the nominations.  The Deputy Head or his/her delegate will approve the final selection of award recipients.
  4. Deputy Heads decide the appropriate method of delivery for formal recognition awards.  Recognition may be awarded at a predetermined annual event.  Events should take into consideration regional recipients and may be coordinated among departments.
  5. If a congratulatory letter is sent to the employee, a copy is sent to Management and Recruitment Services for placement on the employee(s) personnel file.
  6. Nominees who are not recognized through the formal process may be commended for their contribution through the informal recognition process.

Informal Recognition Procedure

  1. Informal recognition not requiring an expenditure or the coordination of a social event during work hours may be given at the discretion of employees, peers, clients, managers or subordinates.
  2. The Deputy Head must authorize informal recognition requiring expenditure or the coordination of a social event during work hours.
  3. Receipts for allowable expenditures must be verified and submitted for reimbursement.
  4. Expenditures related to informal recognition shall be reported to the Deputy Head or his/her delegate on at least a quarterly basis.


Authorities and References

FAM Policy 2004
Extending and Accepting Hospitality, Gifts and Other Benefits, January 2003

FAM Policy 2005
Promotional Material, January 2003