innovation lab

Monthly/Annual Awards

  • From the start, develop a program that gives out awards to innovators for their work; use it to feed communication efforts. Use ribbons and prizes like ‘lunch with the director’ or ‘best of the best’ annual awards highlighted at conferences or in annual reports.
  • Caltrans ‘Medal of Value’ Award – This award while not just for innovators can be used to recognize top innovations and their creators annually.
  • MnDOT’s Above and Beyond Awards – MnDOT recognizes employees who exhibit excellence in dedication, innovation, creativity, cooperation and excellent customer service. 
  • MnDOT’s Principles for Achievement Recognition –   MnDOT is committed to recognizing and rewarding the outstanding work of its employees through issuance of achievement awards and other recognition programs. Teams of employees are often recognized together. To achieve a more consistent approach to employee recognition, the following principles have been developed to guide decision-making relating to employee recognition:
    • Recipients receive rewards that range from $50 to $1600 in value.
    • Recognition should be linked to the agency’s and office/district’s mission, goals and objectives. Recognition decisions must be aligned with MnDOT’s strategic directions.
    • Rewards should not be substituted for a competitive salary plan, longevity pay, or supplemental compensation;
    • Rewards are most effective when they are meaningful to the individual and are given as close to the actual activity as possible;
    • The recognition system communicates management’s belief that employees are the agency’s most valuable asset and that high performing employees are fundamental to achieving organizational goals and in making MnDOT a workplace of choice.
    • Recognition should be meaningful and should respect the preferences of the recipients;
    • Formal recognition programs beyond achievement awards should also be utilized (e.g. Heroes of MnDOT and Above and Beyond awards, etc.);
    • There will always be informal, ongoing recognition and appreciation of outstanding work.
  • Innovate ITD! Ribbons - An Innovate ITD! Ribbon is given to every employee who submits an idea through the ITD SharePoint site. If an idea is submitted by a team, every individual on the team is recognized with a ribbon. Staff commonly display ribbons around their workspace.
  • ‘Best of the Best’ Awards – Since 2014, the best innovations in each of seven categories have been recognized at ITD’s annual “Best of the Best” awards ceremony, which is also showcased in videos, newsletters, and press releases. Local and state media sometimes picks up stories about top innovations at ITD.  Innovations are nominated by ITD Innovation Stewards and all the employees vote on nominated projects. A traveling trophy goes to the winner, with winners’ names added to the trophy each year.
  • Kiewit recognizes top innovative points earner--   Kiewit utilizes Spiget, a third party web portal where all employees participating in an innovation challenge can submit ideas.  Spiget awards points to employees based on how many ideas and how many votes they submit.  Employees are competitive about where they are in the innovation rankings and the top point scorer is rewarded at the Annual Technology Summit with a plaque.  At the same summit, updates on the returns of prior winners’ innovations is provided.