FAQ - Recognition & Achievement Awards
Both Achievement and Spot Awards are intended to recognize and reward individuals, and teams of employees, for demonstrating:
- Exceptional performance: Demonstrated and sustained exceptional performance that consistently exceeds goals and work expectations in quantity and/or quality.
- Creativity: One-time innovation or creation that results in time/dollar savings, revenue enhancement, productivity improvement; and/or ongoing innovative/creative activities that benefit organizational systems, protocols, and/or procedures.
- Organizational abilities: Exhibiting extraordinary skills in leadership resulting in the accomplishment of significant departmental or divisional goals and objectives; effective project management, which could include developing a project and/or implementing a project with substantial success; and/or demonstrating organizational capability leading to a greater level of effectiveness.
- Work success: Significantly exceeding productivity, customer service, quality of care or similar goals, including demonstrating superior interactions with managers, peers, supervisors, subordinates, the University community, and/or clients and customers served.
- Teamwork: Acting as an exceptionally effective and cooperative team member or team leader for a team that has significantly exceeded the goals/objectives of the department unit.
The threshold for granting an Achievement Award is significantly higher than for a Spot Award, and the level of approval has been set higher.
- Achievement Awards are designed to recognize sustained, exceptional performance and/or significant contributions over an extended period of time that represents a major portion of the employee's area of responsibilities, including performance or project goals above and beyond normal performance expectations.
- Spot Awards are designed to recognize special contributions, as they occur, for a specific project or task. Spot Awards are generally for a special contribution accomplished over a relatively short time period. A Spot Award lets employees know that someone has noticed their noteworthy contribution. At the same time, it recognizes and reinforces the behaviors and values that are important at UC Berkeley.
The campus will seek feedback from supervisors, staff, and administrators to ensure the program is achieving outcomes that benefit the campus, departmental operations and individual employees. Control Unit Administrators will also review usage of Achievement and Spot Awards to ensure colleges, divisions, and departments are encouraged to utilize the program funds. Central HR will evaluate and monitor usage of funds on a regular basis.
Although a nomination form may work for many areas of campus, for some areas, it may not be the most effective means to determine who may deserve an Achievement or Spot Award. If a campus department feels another method of nomination may be more appropriate, an alternative approach may be used, provided it is reviewed with the Control Unit Administrator and the Compensation Unit to ensure the method meets the guidelines of the Achievement and Spot Award program.
Control Units will receive an allocation for Achievement and Spot Awards at the beginning of each fiscal year. If a Dean or VC may not expend all of the current fiscal year's funds for the fiscal year, as they approach the last month of the fiscal year, they may use any remaining nominal amount to provide training for their staff.
In the new fiscal year, Deans and VCs will receive a supplemental annual allocation to "top off" last year's remaining funds (if any) in order to provide a total allocation appropriate for the unit as of the end of the previous fiscal year. The supplemental allocation for the new fiscal year will be determined in the first week in August to ensure all awards which were processed at the end of the past fiscal year are captured.
The assessment for represented employees was negotiated into employee salaries as part of the contract bargaining process. Employees represented by unions are not eligible since the funding for this program comes from monies generated from an assessment on payroll for non-represented employees.
The award funds may not be supplemented by department, division or college funds.
Employees who are part of a team may be considered for the Berkeley Campus Achievement and Spot Award program.
Any employee who is eligible (based on the published criteria) may be nominated for an Achievement or Spot Award. However, the employee must be on active pay status or on an approved unpaid leave at the time the award payment is processed.
The program is funded by a payroll assessment of non-represented employees. Funds are distributed to the Vice Chancellors or Dean on the basis of the eligible population. The funds are a portion of campus payroll and not a deduction from individual salaries.
Students are NOT eligible to receive Achievement Awards, which are limited to Career, Partial Year Career, and Contract employees. Student employees ARE eligible to receive Spot Awards. Both Work Study and non-Work Study student employees in non-academic positions are eligible to receive Spot Awards.
Award funds are allocated based on the total salaries of PPSM staff employees in the following appointment types: Career, Partial-Year Career, Contract, Limited, and Per Diem. The population is based on figures as of the end the fiscal year.
Yes, the University-paid fringe benefits rate will be charged to the units. Due to varying amounts for Recognition Awards, units should calculate the full costs of the award which includes the 38% Fringe Benefits Rate. These costs will be charged to the same fund as the Achievement and Spot Awards. Departments should use 38% of the planned award amount to calculate this cost. For example, for a $400 Spot Award, $552 should be reserved in the fund to cover the unit cost and for a $2,000 Achievement Award, $2,760 should be reserved to cover the unit cost.
In the examples above, the actual award made to the employee would be $400 (less taxes) and $2,000 (less taxes) respectively. In other words, awards should not be grossed up.
No, the Achievement or Spot Award may be paid to employees via a direct deposit as soon as reasonably possible. Providing employees with the award along with a Thank You Letter and an Award Certificate will reinforce the campus’ appreciation for the special achievement.