Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Achievement Award

MnDOT Policy #WF001
Revised: January 23, 2024

View/print signed policy (PDF)

Achievement Award Procedures

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

Responsible Senior Officer: Deputy Commissioner/Chief Administrative Officer
Policy Owner: Director, Office of Human Resources
Policy Contact: Labor Relations Manager

Policy statement

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) must, at a minimum, comply with the enterprise policy Employee Recognition and Achievement Awards, HR/LR #1420.

MnDOT is committed to recognizing and rewarding the outstanding performance of its employees. One method of recognition is through achievement awards. The following principles have been developed to guide decision-making relating to issuing employee achievement awards:

  • Awards must align with MnDOT’s vision, mission, core values, and Strategic Operating Plan.
  • Awards should be given as close to the actual activity or outstanding performance as possible, be meaningful to the individual, and any public recognition should respect the preferences of the recipients.
  • Awards are not a substitute for a competitive salary plan or supplemental compensation and must be performance-based.
  • Offices and Districts may allocate money in the budget each fiscal year to use for achievement awards according to the Achievement Award Procedures. End of year allocations for achievement awards are not permitted.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Awards may be given for outstanding performance by an employee as described in the Achievement Award Procedures.
  • Awards must conform to requirements contained in statute, collective bargaining agreements, compensation plans, and Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB)’s HR/LR Policy #1420 – Employee Recognition and Achievement Awards.
    • Step increase awards are only available to employees represented by AFSCME, MAPE, MMA, or MGEC who are not at the top of their pay range.
    • Percentage increases are only available to employees in the Commissioner’s Plan or Managerial Plan who are not at the top of their pay range.
  • An employee’s appointment type or employment condition (full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, PRO, etc.) does not limit the employee’s eligibility for an achievement award.
  • The employee must have a current performance evaluation on file in the Office of Human Resources with a minimum overall rating of satisfactory/meets expectations.
  • An employee who is a supervisor or manager must have completed all performance reviews for direct reports within the preceding twelve months.
  • The employee must not have been disciplined within the preceding twelve months.

Reason for policy

MnDOT employees are fundamental to achieving organizational goals and in making MnDOT a valued employer. This policy formally recognizes outstanding performance at MnDOT and creates a consistent approach to nomination and issuance of achievement awards.

The enterprise policy Employee Recognition and Achievement Awards, HR/LR #1420 requires agencies granting achievement awards to establish a policy setting forth selection criteria and procedures. Changes to an agency Achievement Award policy must be approved by MMB prior to implementation.


All MnDOT employees must comply with this policy.

Key stakeholders with responsibilities under this policy include:

  • Senior Leadership Team
  • Assistant Commissioners/Chiefs
  • Office Directors/District Engineers
  • Human Resources
  • Division Business Managers
  • Managers and Supervisors
  • MnDOT Employees


Achievement Award

Monetary award granted to eligible employees who demonstrate outstanding job performance.

Eligible Employees

Employees in the Managerial Plan, Commissioner’s Plan, and collective bargaining agreements of American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), Minnesota Management Association (MMA), and Minnesota Government Engineer’s Council (MGEC).


Senior Leadership Team

  • Review and authorize use of achievement awards within the agency.
  • Set the dollar amount of lump sum awards based on each collective bargaining agreement or compensation plan.

Assistant Commissioners/Chiefs

  • Review and approve nominations for respective areas.

Office Directors/District Engineers

Human Resources (District and Central Office)

  • Verify that performance evaluation requirements are complete.
  • Verify employee eligibility for a step or percentage increase.

Division Business Managers

  • Coordinate the achievement award process.
  • Receive and review nominations for completeness and eligibility requirements.
  • Approve and track nominations for achievement awards.
  • Reconcile approved awards to payouts and ensure compliance with approved allocations.
  • Present annual report to SLT.

Managers and Supervisors

  • Approve or deny nominations for achievement awards.

MnDOT Employees

  • Nominate individuals or teams for an award using the MnDOT Achievement Award Nomination Form.

Policy Owner (Director, Office of Human Resources)

  • Review the policy every two years, or whenever MMB changes the enterprise policy, to ensure the policy remains up to date.
  • Ensure procedures and forms associated with the policy remain current.
  • Monitor state, federal, enterprise, agency, or other requirements that apply to the policy or procedures.
  • Consult with the Office of Chief Counsel to ensure the policy and procedures remain compliant with all state, federal, enterprise, agency, or other requirements.
  • Ensure that necessary approvals by state or federal agencies are obtained before changes to the policy or procedures are implemented.
  • Work with the Policy Coordinator to revise the policy and/or confirm its accuracy.
  • Communicate policy revisions, reviews, and retirements to stakeholders.

Resources and related information


Processes, Procedures, and Instructions


History and updates


August 8, 2012


  • First Revision: September 21, 2020 (also renumbered as #WF001 from #HR001)
  • Second Revision: April 3, 2023
  • Third Revision: January 23, 2024

Policy review

This policy's next scheduled review is due January 2026.