Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Achievement Awards

MnDOT Policy HR001
View/print signed policy (PDF)

Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is committed to recognizing and rewarding the outstanding work of its employees through issuance of achievement awards and other recognition programs. To achieve a more consistent approach to employee recognition, the following principles have been developed to guide decision-making relating to employee recognition:

  • There will always be informal, ongoing recognition and appreciation of
    outstanding work;
  • Formal recognition programs beyond achievement awards should also be utilized (e.g. Heroes of MnDOT, We are MnDOT, and Above and Beyond awards, etc.);
  • Recognition should be meaningful and should respect the preferences of the recipients;
  • The recognition system communicates management’s belief that employees are the agency’s most valuable asset. We recognize that high performing employees are fundamental to achieving organizational goals and in making MnDOT a workplace of choice.
  • Rewards are most effective when they are meaningful to the individual and are given as close to the actual activity as possible;
  • Rewards should not be substituted for a competitive salary plan, longevity pay, or supplemental compensation;
  • Recognition should be linked to the agency’s and office/district’s mission, goals and objectives. Recognition decisions must be aligned with MnDOT’s strategic directions.

Reason for policy

Formally recognize sustained and outstanding performance in MnDOT and achieve a more consistent approach to 1) nominating employees for an achievement award and 2) issuance of the awards.

Who needs to know this policy

All MnDOT employees that are subject to collective bargaining agreements and plans that provide for achievement awards.


Achievement Award

A management tool to be used to recognize outstanding performance. They are payments to a limited number of employees in a bargaining unit whose contract or plan provides for such awards. They are completely discretionary, i.e., each agency can decide whether or not to grant them, how and when, subject to the conditions specified in the collective bargaining agreement and plans. They may be granted in each fiscal year unless otherwise specified in the applicable contract/plan

Eligible Employees

All employees with Managerial and Commissioner’s Plan and collective bargaining agreements of MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees), MMA (Minnesota Management Association), and MGEC (Minnesota Government Engineer’s Council).


Recognition refers to validation through demonstrated appreciation, to acknowledgement and, in some cases, to awards. Recognition covers a range of formal and informal practices in the workplace that collectively express and reinforces values and the way that people work together.


Allocate funds for monetary achievement awards

Each division, working with their offices/districts, will budget a set amount of money for the purpose of issuing monetary achievement awards on a quarterly basis as part of their fiscal year planning.

Nomination submittal

Nominations may be submitted at any time using the MnDOT Achievement Award Nomination Form (for employees only). Nomination forms should be submitted to the district or Central Office (CO) Office of Human Resources who will verify the information and forward for the appropriate approvals. Any MnDOT employee may nominate an individual for an achievement award; however, all signatures must be obtained prior to submitting the nomination form to the Office of Human Resources. Nominations are accepted year-round but nominations should be made at the completion of the project or work for which the employee is being recognized. Types of outstanding performance that will be considered in the nomination process include:

Types of outstanding performance

    • Team recognition - Groups of employees who have delivered outstanding teamwork on a special project or overcome a particular and unusual challenge in carrying out the goals of the office/district.
    • Project Recognition - Employee has done exceptional work on a project that supports agency-wide goals, and is outside of normal job parameters.
    • Sustained Performance - Employee has demonstrated consistent, exceptional performance throughout the appraisal period in regard.
    • Individual Performance - Employee has delivered outstanding individual performance; has developed and implemented innovative ideas or creative solutions that result in cost savings, operational efficiency, and/or improvements in service, processes, and/or productivity.

Eligibility criteria

  • Employee must have a current performance evaluation on file in the Human Resources Office with an overall rating of satisfactory/meets expectations;
  • An employee may receive a maximum of one individual OR one team achievement award in any given fiscal year;
  • Employee has not received discipline within the preceding six months.

Nomination review

  • Nominations received will be reviewed by district or CO Office of Human Resources to ensure all required information is included on the nomination form, all signatures have been obtained, a current performance evaluation is on file with an overall rating of satisfactory/meets expectations, and employee has not received discipline within the preceding six months. All nominations should be forwarded to the division business manager, to be included in the quarterly review by senior management.
  • The division business managers will review the nominations with the appropriate division director on a quarterly basis. The division directors will consult with their senior leadership teams in making final decisions in selecting individuals/teams to receive awards.
  • Once decisions are formalized, the respective Human Resources Office will send a congratulatory notice to the employee with a copy to the supervisor, office director, and the nominator.
  • The respective Human Resources Office will coordinate payment of the award.


Office Directors

Allocate money in fiscal year budget to use for issuing achievement awards.

DOT employees

Nominators for awards.

Human Resource

Receives and reviews nominations for completeness and eligibility requirements.

Achievement Award Committee

Reviews nomination forms and makes recommendation to senior management for recipients of awards.

Senior Management (assistant commissioners, division business managers, office directors, and district management teams)

Review nominations on a quarterly basis and select individuals/teams for awards.

Director, Office of Human Resources

The Director, Office of Human Resources will be responsible for overseeing any changes to the achievement award program and policy. Senior management staff will be responsible for administering the departmental programs in accordance with this policy.


Related information



August 8th, 2012


Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer

Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer

Policy Owner

Office Director
Office of Human Resources

Policy Contact

Labor Relations Manager
Office of Human Resources