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Recognition and Awards

USDA actively promotes a culture of recognition and understands the importance of acknowledging our employees’ contributions to the mission throughout the year. The recognition and awards programs serve as important piece of the overall USDA compensation philosophy by helping to support a positive work environment and a culture of recognition that continually identifies and rewards both individual and team contributions to the departments mission. USDA recognition and awards programs include:

  • Cash Awards
  • Referral Bonus
  • Quality Step Increases
  • Honorary and Informal Recognition
  • Time Off Awards

Department Regulation

Recognition and Award Advisory Notices

OHRM Advisory - Award Eligibility (PDF, 266 KB)
This advisory changes award eligibility requirements for new government employees. (August 30, 2022)

OHRM Advisory - Cumulative Award Authorization Limits (PDF, 293 KB)
This advisory removes the 52 week cumulative award authorization limits. (July 15, 2022)

OHRM Advisory – Quality Step Increase (PDF, 293 KB)
This advisory makes a number of changes to the QSI process, including eligibility timeframe, removal of QSI panels. (July 15, 2022)

OHRM Advisory – Referral Bonus (PDF, 283 KB)
This advisory reduces the waiting time required to receive a referral bonus award. (July 15, 2022)

Recognition and Awards Memorandum

Employee Recognition and Awards Programs (May 19, 2022) (PDF, 291 KB)

Electronic Award Forms

Recognition and Award Links