Developing an Employee Reward and Recognition Program

Please note: During the 2020-21 academic year, these policies, procedures, and practices will move to the CLAS Policies and Procedures website.

All departments within CLAS must have a written employee recognition program that has been approved by the departmental DEO, Administrator, the Senior Director of Human Resources, and the Budget Officer. An annual review of the program is required. Download the proposal form

The following tips may be of assistance when drafting your proposal and reviewing your recognition program.


To ensure an open, planned process to recognize the efforts of employees who support the UI and CLAS mission and accomplish departmental goals.

Description of program/process

What variety of strategies will you include in your plan?

  • Informal efforts: thank you notes (paper, email, online), newsletter inserts, etc.
  • Formal efforts: innovation based improvement, employee development awards, employee appreciation functions, years of service.

Business purpose

A business purpose may be defined as an effort that is of primary benefit to the university and its mission. Examples of business purposes include: to recognize unit goal accomplishments, to celebrate the success of a major change initiative, to recognize improvement in processes and services, and general employee recognition and acknowledgement.

Items to be purchased

List items such as food, beverages, flowers, plaques, etc.

How will you maintain and improve your recognition program? How will your area keep the program current and vital? How will you evaluate the success of your department’s efforts? What outcomes occurred? What will be changed in the future?


Departmental programs must be approved by CLAS Senior Director of Human Resources and Chief Budget Officer. The approved, final form will be housed in the Dean's office, with a signed copy sent back to the department. On the Departmental Employee Recognition Program Form, indicate the date the document was written; in subsequent years you can indicate if the document has been reviewed or revised with an annual date.

Further examples of employee recognition are available at