Monetary and leave awards can be given, as described below, for various levels of accomplishments or contributions. Eligible employees include all classified employees with current performance evaluation ratings of "Developing" or better and no active written notices; wage (hourly or student) employees are eligible as described below.
Total recognition awards of all types covered by these guidelines cannot exceed $5,000 in a fiscal year and/or five days of leave per calendar year per classified employee. For purposes of the 2021 merit process, awards cannot exceed 5% of an employee’s salary.
Spot Awards recognize excellent work on a project, task or activity including outstanding support of day-to-day assigned business activities. They are intended to acknowledge and demonstrate immediate and spontaneous appreciation for the contributions of individuals. Spot awards are small to moderate in value. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Spot Awards can be given in amounts up to $1,000 and/or four hours of recognition leave for each occurrence. Use the Spot Award form to start this process.
Because Spot Awards are intended as more immediate forms of recognition, they can be processed each pay period, following the same deadlines as used for PAFs. They require only supervisor and Dean/Department Head approval; HR approval is not required. Spot Award forms can be found on the forms section of this site.
Exceptional Recognition Acknowledgement affirms an employee’s outstanding accomplishments or achievements. In order for a classified employee to receive the highest level performance rating on an annual performance review, an Recognition award form must be on file.
If desired, departments may provide monetary or leave awards to coincide with the acknowledgement of exceptional performance. Awards of up to $5,000 per fiscal year and/or 5 days of leave per calendar year may be awarded. (Wage employees may be awarded up to $1,000 per fiscal year and are ineligible for leave.) Awards may be used to recognize individuals’ major achievements and/or contributions that significantly impact departmental operations or to acknowledge sustained or outstanding achievement that is above and beyond day-to-day job requirements.
Other forms of recognition (monetary and non-monetary) not covered by the provisions of these guidelines include, but may not be limited to the following:
The monetary value of these awards, if any, is not included in the $2,000 per-fiscal-year monetary award cap. However, many of these other forms of university recognition will result in taxable income to the employee. Contact the VCU Controller’s Office (828-0388) or Payroll Office (828-0740) about the inclusion or exclusion of any payment or gift as taxable income and the tax withholding implications (approximately 38.4%).
Additional no/low-cost recognition ideas