This section provides guidance on rewarding employees for their performance.
Employees who receive a performance rating of “Fully Successful” or above are eligible for discretionary performance awards after the end of the appraisal cycle. Performance awards should be given in a timely manner, within 90 days of the end of the performance cycle.
Importance of Distinctions in Award Levels
Supervisors are responsible for making distinctions in award levels so that higher performing employees receive larger awards than lower performing employees in the same unit at the same grade level.
To improve the process of making distinctions in levels of performance, results-oriented elements and standards should be developed with clear, credible measures of performance, with the “Fully Successful” level incorporating a wide range of successful performance, so that employees must reach challenging goals in order to be rated above “Fully Successful.”
Relationship between Ratings, Awards and Organizational Performance
Individual performance ratings should relate to organizational or work-unit performance. For example, sixty percent of employees should not be rated “Outstanding” if the mission critical or administrative support work-unit has failed to meet stated goals. A significant number of employees rated at high levels may be appropriate if the organization has achieved the goals reported to the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB), or if the agency has programs that are rated effective by OMB.
More Information on Awards
More information on performance awards and other types of awards may be found in the following directives: