As an employee, you are eligible to receive both monetary and non-monetary
awards and recognition. Awards are typically based on superior performance,
special act or achievement, length of service, and suggestions that may result in
constructive improvement to the SAO.
The most common types of awards granted to SAO employees include, but are not limited
A Performance Award which is a monetary award tied to an employee's performance rating of
record. A performance award does not increase base pay, but is a single cash payment in recognition
of the performance level of the employee during the employee's previous appraisal period.
Performance awards are recommended by supervisors on an annual basis during SAO's cash award
recommendation period. Approved awards, which may be up to 7.5 percent of base pay, are
typically received by recipients in August of each year.
A Special Act Award which is a monetary award based on a one-time special act or
achievement of an employee or group of employees. A special act award is a single cash payment in recognition of a non-recurring contribution or accomplishment which may be within or outside of assigned job responsibilities, but clearly well beyond a normal range of expectation. Special act awards are
recommended by supervisors on an annual basis during SAO's cash award recommendation period.
Approved awards, which may be up to 5 percent of base pay, are typically received by recipients in August of each year.
A PRIDE Award which is a monetary award granted by supervisors to recognize accomplishments
which represent important contributions and achievements, but for which higher level monetary
awards, such as performance awards or larger special act awards, are not appropriate. Supervisors
may grant PRIDE awards at any time during the year. Under this program employees may receive
an individual award in any net amount up to $300, with a yearly cap of $1,500 for any individual employee in a single fiscal year.
A Time Off Award which is an incentive award in the form of time off from duty without
charge to leave or loss of pay in recognition of an exceptional accomplishment or other personal effort.
Supervisors may grant time off awards at any time during the year. A full-time employee may be
granted up to 40 hours of time off for a single contribution. The maximum amount of time off an
employee may be granted in a leave year is 80 hours (amounts of time off for part-time employees
would be prorated).
A Service Award which is a non-monetary award granted to employees to recognize 10, 20,
30, or 40 years of Smithsonian service. For employees who reach such milestones, a Smithsonian
emblem and service award certificate are presented during SAO's annual service award ceremony.
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