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									               2012 Federal Employee of the Year Awards
                        Category Descriptions

To recognize outstanding current San Francisco Bay Area federal employees who have
demonstrated exceptional and noteworthy performance and dedication, outstanding leadership
skills, innovative approaches to assigned tasks, pride in work, and/or continuous improvement
of procedures and processes in a given field or category during the past two years.

Nominations are accepted for individual employees or teams at all grade levels within the
Federal sector (civilian, military, and postal) in the San Francisco Bay Area. The workstation of
the nominee(s) must be in one of the following nine counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin,
Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
Consideration will be given to the completion of any formal or recognized education or training
outside of official duties, which enabled the nominee(s) to be more valuable to his/her agency.
Participation in professional, scientific, or similar organizations may be included for evaluation.
Both individual and team nominees must have demonstrated exceptional performance and
results in his/her present position, leadership, suggestions, or inventions. Performance and/or
results must have occurred in the past 24-month period.
Additionally, groups of employees working together as a team must have made an outstanding
contribution to the achievement of a special project, the accomplishment of their agency’s
mission, the achievement of a significant cost reduction or the provision of products and
services to customers in an exceptional manner. Teams nominated must consist of no more
than 20 members, and only federal employees may be included in the team nomination. Team
members are not eligible for nomination as an individual in any other category.

Individuals in the following positions may not be nominated: San Francisco Bay Area Federal
Executive Board staff; contractors; students employed as Summer Aides, Work/Study,
contractors, interns, Student Career Employment Program (SCEP).

The award categories have changed for 2012. Some previous categories have been combined
or moved to fit the overall theme of the category. Although multiple categories may apply, only
one may be selected. Judgment should be used in determining the appropriate category for
nominations. As a rule of thumb, place the nomination in the category that best covers the
nominee’s or teams accomplishments.

Administrative and Clerical
Recognizes employees or teams in positions involving administrative professional or clerical
duties, who have shown exceptional performance and/or results. Positions may include but are
not limited to: Personnel Staffing/Classification Assistant, Budget Assistant, Administrative
Assistant or Officer, Secretary, Clerk-Typist, Supply Clerk, or clerical support and equivalent
positions, Administrative Assistant, etc.

Civil/Criminal Law Enforcement
Recognizes individuals or teams in positions involving civil or criminal law enforcement, who
have shown exceptional performance and/or results. Positions include but are not limited to:
Civil Investigators, Civil Attorneys, Special Agents, Border Patrol Agents, Immigration and
Naturalization Agents, FBI Agents, Drug Enforcement Agents, etc.

Customer Service
Recognizes individuals or teams in any category who have shown exceptional performance
and/or results involving understanding importance outstanding customer service behavior
towards internal and external customers.

Equal Employment and Diversity
Recognizes individuals or teams of any category who have shown exceptional performance
and/or results in promoting equal employment and diversity in the workplace. The nominee
should have achieved outstanding civil rights, special emphasis, or affirmative employment
results through effective leadership, skills, imagination, innovation, and perseverance in
extending equal opportunities to minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities.

Recognizes individuals or teams employed as managers, supervisors, or team leaders,
responsible for guiding the work of others who have shown exceptional performance and/or
results with leadership skills, coaching, empowering, rewarding, and recognizing employees or

Uniformed Military (regular or reserve)
Recognizes individuals or teams who are uniformed military personnel who have shown
exceptional performance and/or results for outstanding performance of duty. This category
includes military officials who are based at any of the nine-county Bay Area installations.

Recognizes individuals or teams employed in any of the professions and sciences, who have
shown exceptional performance and/or results. Occupational areas may include but are not
limited to: writer-editor, program analysts, specialists, legal, social services, accounting, and
statistics. Persons nominated in this category may be employed at any level of professional
work, but they will be compared, and should be nominated, based on their competence,
efficiency, and accomplishments in their professional field.

Recognizes individuals or teams employed in the scientific or technical communities who have
shown exceptional performance and/or results in their field. Includes those individuals in the
physical sciences, biological sciences, medicine, chemistry, architecture, mathematics,
technology, including engineering, technician, drafting, information technology, etc. The
absence of a degree will not disqualify a nominee in this category.

Service to the Community
Recognizes employees or teams in any category, who, through volunteering their services on
their own time; have forged a bridge between federal employees and the service needs of their
community in which they live. Examples include: time and effort directed toward projects of civil
betterment and/or voluntary organizations that serve individual or community needs.

Trades and Crafts
Recognizes individuals or teams employed in positions in Wage Grade or equivalent military
categories related to a specific trade or craft, who have shown exceptional performance and/or
results. Positions may include but are not limited to: Warehousing, Machining, Electrical,
Catering, Custodial, Printing, etc.

  Tips for Award Writing – Make Your Nominee a Winner
      Use the active voice whenever possible.
      Choose vocabulary that realistically describes the accomplishments of the
       nominee. Do not exaggerate or minimize the importance of various duties.
      Avoid an excessive use of superlatives when describing an employee’s work
       performance or personal attributes. Instead use examples that highlight the
       performance and attribute you are emphasizing.
      When using acronyms, fully spell out an acronym the first time it is used followed
       by the acronym in parenthesis.
      Avoid using excessive agency jargon or technical terms. Remember that the
       judges are from the private sector and may not be familiar with government
      Avoid restating or extracting wording from an employee’s position description.

      Use specific examples of superior performance as often as possible.
      If relevant, incorporate several pertinent details about the critical events,
       circumstances, problems, and /or pressures encountered while performing a task
       or project.
      When describing the value of contributions, be sure to include the impact the
       accomplishments have on the agency or the intended audience.

Describe how the nominee may have demonstrated the following:

      Developed and/or implemented an original, unique and/or creative approach to
       communication, service delivery; and/or
      Exerted special effort (e.g. experienced difficulty or personal inconvenience),
       surmounted problems or obstacles in the process of making a communication or
       service delivery idea successful; and/or
      Rendered extraordinary service to assist the public in times of adverse conditions
       (e.g. natural disasters, Homeland Security, etc.); and/or
      Rendered extraordinary service while accomplishing important communications,
       service delivery objectives in a reduced timeframe.

Include any available data or other tangible evidence showing how an improvement
resulted from the nominee’s actions (e.g., improved productivity, reduced customer
waiting time, reduced processing time, reduced cost, greater efficiency or effectiveness,


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