Program Guidelines

Program Highlights

  • New forms are available online and from Human Resources Liaisons
  • Two levels of recognition - citywide and departmental
  • Quarterly recognition
  • Employees are eligible for recognition in more than one quarter
  • Design Team members will monitor submissions and provide support, if needed, to assure equitable access to the recognition program across departments

Nominees Should

  • Represent the spirit of one or more of the 10 Keys to Service Excellence
  • Provide an instance of an exceptional level of customer service which is above and beyond the normal requirements of the job description - doing far more than one is required to do in the daily job or consistently provide an excellent level of customer service above and beyond the normal requirements of the job
  • Receive a favorable recommendation from the immediate supervisor and/or department head
  • Adhere to city and departmental policies and guidelines


  • All city employees (full-time, part-time, and temporary) are eligible for recognition.
  • Employees of temporary services who are working for the city are not eligible for individual recognition.
  • Temporary contract employees are eligible to be a part of any team award.

Submitting Commendations

  • All nominations must be submitted within 30 days of the event.
  • All commendations must be submitted on the new form, either online or on paper.
  • Paper copies of the form are available from Human Resources Liaisons in each department.
  • In order for a commendation to be considered for recognition, all blanks must be completed.

Selection Process

  • All nominations received during the quarter will be vetted by the Design Team Recognition Group and classified as Qualifying for Citywide Recognition, Qualifying for Department Recognition or Does Not Meet Criteria based on the criteria set forth above. Design Team members will remove themselves from the selection process if they or a family member are nominated for recognition.
  • Nominations eligible for department recognition will be sent to departments for quarterly celebrations following a road map provided by the Design Team to provide consistency citywide.
  • Nominations eligible for Citywide Recognition will be handled by the Design Team Recognition Group.

Citywide Recognition

  • All nominees eligible for Citywide Recognition will be recognized with a certificate and a choice of one of the following items: Identification badge lanyard, Identification badge clip, or City Bucks.
  • The Design Team Recognition Group selects 5 semifinalists from the list of those nominations eligible for Citywide Recognition.
  • The names of the semifinalists will be sent to the applicable departments to obtain the recommendations of the department heads.
  • The Design Team Recognition Group selects a quarterly winner from the 5 semifinalists.
  • The recommendation is forwarded to Human Resources and then to the City Manager's Office for review prior to the general announcement of winners. Human Resources and the City Manager's Office will check for disciplinary actions and/or other disqualifying factors.
  • Prize Patrol presents the award to the quarterly winner at his/her job site. The winner's department head and supervisors will be notified in advance so they may be present if desired.
  • Quarterly winner will receive a check for $100 net. The winner and 4 semifinalists will received a stick-on decal/sign reading Attention - City Star at Work to be displayed in an appropriate place in the recipient's work area and/or vehicle. If a team is selected as a semifinalist, each team member will receive a decal/sign. If a team is elected as a winner, the team members will split the $100 evenly.
  • The quarterly winner and the other four semifinalists will be invited to a reception with light refreshments to be held in various appropriate facilities through the city and at various time to accommodate the varying work schedules of semifinalists for presentation of awards and certificates. The immediate supervisors of the 5 semifinalists will be invited to attend. Council Members will also be invited to attend.
  • The quarterly winner will be invited to a City Council meeting for special recognition. A Design Team will introduce the winner and share a photo slide of the winner and 4 semifinalists. He/she will provide statistics showing the total number of acknowledgments of excellent customer service for the past quarter throughout the city as part of the talking points.
  • The four quarterly winners will become the finalists for the Service Excellence category of the annual Employee Excellence Awards. The annual winner will be determined by the external committee selected by the Employee Excellence Awards Committee. The yearly winner will receive a check for $500 net. If a team is selected as the winner, the team members will split the $500 evenly.
  • All Citywide nominees will be celebrated in the Digital City Scene, on the computer screensaver, on the Employee Center website, on the City website, and on TV 13.

Departmental Recognitions

  • Commendations worthy of department recognition will be sent to the departments for celebration/recognition. These commendations will include those that do not exhibit the Wow factor necessary for Citywide recognition, but that do meet the other criteria and do exemplify excellent customer service. They will not include commendations, which are determined by the Design Team Recognition Group to have not met criteria for recognition. For example, a simple thank you note for coaching a child's sports team or for being courteous during an encounter that is part of an employee's job would not meet the criteria set forth.
  • Recognition will take place in each department quarterly.
  • Each team member recognized will be awarded a certificate.
  • Departmental Human Resources liaisons will make copies of the commendations to give to recognized employees.
  • At a minimum, employees who receive commendations on both departmental and Citywide levels during a quarter will be recognized at a department's staff meeting. The Design Team will provide further suggestions for departmental celebrations each quarter until departmental design teams are established.
  • After departmental design teams get underway, the departments will be encouraged to customize their recognition celebrations under the guidance of the SEI Design Team to assure consistency throughout the city.
  • Departments with existing customer service recognition programs are encouraged to continue these as examples to other departments.
  • The SEI Design Team will be responsible for following up with departments to assure that celebrations are held in a timely manner.