Employee & Volunteer Engagement & Recognition

Department Employee Recognition Program (DERP)

The Sonoma County Department Employee Recognition Program (DERP) provides a process for departments to recognize employees or groups that have made extraordinary contributions to the community. 

DERP Purpose and Mission

The purpose of DERP is to recognize those employees or groups that have made extraordinary contributions in the community or to celebrate the achievements of a team or division. Recognition events can also be inspiring and motivating to other staff and educational about what your department does, within your department and in the community.


  • Individual County Employees
  • Extra-help or Contract Staff
  • County Volunteers
  • Sections, Divisions, Teams
  • Interdepartmental Groups/Efforts
  • Whole Department/Department Head

Categories to Keep in Mind

  • Accomplishments (e.g. started new program, finished major project, etc.)
  • Customer Service (e.g. exceptional with internal and external customers)
  • Safety Standards and Practices (e.g. identified and mitigated potential safety risks)
  • Community Service (e.g. exceptional work with community in or outside of workplace)
  • Other (something else considered a valuable contribution)

Criteria to Consider

  • Goes above and beyond what is required in his/her position.
  • Exhibits outstanding collaborative team work.
  • Displays exceptional motivation, creativity, and perseverance.
  • Provides superior customer service.
  • Identifies and reduces potential safety risks, history of safety practices.
  • Generates cost saving suggestions and operational improvements.
  • Demonstrates standards of excellence in the workplace/community.
  • Participates in community service, outside of job duties.


What's Covered

  • Party held to celebrate employee, work group or team of employees achievement
  • Food for staff to celebrate achievement
  • National Secretary’s Day, gift, lunch and other days set up to honor contributions of workers (i.e. Bosses’ Day, Social Workers Month, etc.)  Specific, defined, and approved recognition department recognition programs/plans.
  • Volunteer Center’s Recognition Luncheon to honor contribution of exceptional volunteers
  • Awards, gift certificates for outstanding individuals, luncheons, dinners or ceremonies celebrating achievements

What's Not Covered

  • Holiday parties or recognition at holiday parties; birthday parties, or showers
  • Food for Staff
  • Staff party (without recognition element), New Employee Orientation Costs, New employee receptions, Day of Caring activities, Combined Fund Campaign activities, and Training retreats
  • Retiree’s party or retiree’s gift
  • Coffee or water for office; no single-serving bottled water or alcohol-related items.

Contact Information

Sylvia Lemus

DERP Coordinator

Employee & Volunteer Engagement & Recognition

County of Sonoma

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
575 Administration Drive
Room 116 B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465237, -122.725363

Important Documents/Forms