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Human Resources Department

Employee & Volunteer Engagement & Recognition (EVER)

Department Employee Recognition Program (DERP)

Employee and Volunteer Engagement and Recognition 750

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.

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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.  

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

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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)

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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.

Whenever possible, use recognition that will be meaningful to the employee, volunteer, team, division, being recognized. Customize the recognition by calling attention to specific actions of employees or groups, presenting awards / recognition items, providing special treats, etc.

Events that include some training or overview of department accomplishments must serve as a venue to recognize and commend employees for their contributions. Be sure that employee recognition is specific and defined in the event. This program is not set-up to fund training retreats, training material, etc.

Conduct a survey of your staff or leadership to see what type of recognition would be received by staff / employees as special recognition to them; you may also solicit ideas on how they would like to be recognized.

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Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

What's Covered

  • Party held to celebrate employee, work group or team of employees' achievement
  • Food for staff to celebrate achievement
  • Flowers to acknowledge superior performance
  • 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 for outstanding individuals, luncheons, dinners or ceremonies celebrating achievements

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What's Not Covered

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

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