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Employee Recognition Program

City of Modesto - Employee Recognition Program


To motive City of Modesto employees and reward exemplary employee performance. To support the accomplishment of organizational goals.


The City Council considers the attraction and retention of high quality employees a top priority, and supports a variety of formal and informal recognition programs. This program was initiated in response to Council direction and continues to be an important part of our overall employee development process. Formal awards were first given in 1988. Since then, some rules have been revised to respond to changing needs.


Recognition is more than just praise or reward. It is a way of motivating employees by endorsing their high quality performance in highly visible programs and ceremonies.

Recognition supports self-esteem and helps employees learn which skills and behaviors are of value to the organization.

We believe exemplary employees deserve timely and effective recognition by their team members, peers, managers, and the community.

This program outlines our formal recognition procedures. The City of Modesto also encourages employees to use informal recognition on a regular basis to show their appreciation of work done by others.

Recognition Review Teams

Each Department selects members of the "Recognition Review Team" to help coordinate the Employee Recognition Program.

Whenever possible, the team will include both management and non-management employees. Recognition Review Team members serve two years with odd/even rotation.

This team works with the City's Human Resources Department to make sure that effective recognition is a regular part of organizational activities.

Program Design

Recognition Awards are given in three categories:

  • Individuals
  • Department Teams
  • Inter-Department Teams

Eligibility for recognition is based on generally defined criteria in five areas:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Partnerships
  • Systems
  • Service

Criteria for awards are written to reflect City of Modesto organizational goals and objectives.

The following criteria definitions provide a basic guide for nominators when they develop written nominations, and are used by Review Teams to evaluate nominations:


Leads others in creating strategic plans
Helps others set goals and be results oriented
Encourages participation and collaboration
Supports team training and development
Communicates effectively with team members
Provides recognition to team members


Generates new ideas and creative solutions
Encourages option-thinking and alternatives
Understands and nurtures creativity
Gets involved in problem solving processes
Sees value in prudent risk-taking
Supports and encourages employee suggestions


Forms new partnerships with other organizations
Seeks innovative community partnerships
Promotes quality of life through citizen groups
Encourages citizen participation in government
Improves community and neighborhood relations
Demonstrates stewardship skills and abilities


Develops systems that save money
Develops ways to use time efficiently
Manages resources effectively to achieve results
Improves measurement or control systems
Applies technology to improve systems
Sets policies or procedures that control costs


Demonstrates extraordinary customer service
Uses continuous improvement techniques
Seeks input and feedback on services provided
Improves relations with employees and citizens
Improves our image in the community
Supports our Citizens First service philosophy