NASA Workforce Map
Awards and Recognition
Making Good Award Selections
In determining who receives a formal award, the key question for a supervisor or an awards panel member is “What nomination data and award criteria are going to be used and how will they be used to select which contributions to reward?”
Nomination Data: Typically, the data are based on what is submitted with an award nomination form or justification but can include other information such as performance assessment results, work products, panel interview, and site visits (for instance, the George M. Low Award). A key factor is to clearly communicate what data will be used and then not deviate from it. For example, are panel members going to be allowed to provide personal information about a nominee’s performance to supplement the nomination form and conversely, are nominees responsible for providing full and sufficient information for the award selection official or panel member’s use?
Criteria: Use strong clear criteria for determining the recipients for an award.
Awards Selection Process: Not all award selection processes need to be the similar. An organization can look to its current award selection approaches where employees view the award selections as credible and helpful feedback is regularly provided to those who want it by the award selection official or panel members.
Approaches for using the nomination data and award criteria can vary – either in terms of everyone meeting a pre-determined level of contribution will receive this award, ranking nominees to identify top tier contributions, or to make a best-of-the-best determination. In most cases, these approaches include a valid method for determining how well each candidate meets award criteria. Two popular methods are detailed below.
1. Priority Selection Matrix may look like the following.
Rater Instructions: Assess the degree that a nominee’s contribution meets each criterion using the following scale: Low, Medium or High.
Consider the following rules of thumb when designing your matrix:
2. Paired-Comparisons Method. This method works best with you want to sort nominations in rank order. You compare each individual nomination against every other, one-to-one. For each paired-comparison, note the top choice and tabulate the number of top choices for each nomination. To illustrate, let’s say you have seven candidates. Label each (A, B, C, D, E, F and G) and develop a table for each rater that looks like this:
A C B C
A D B D C D
A E B E C E D E
A F B F C F D F E F
A G B G C G D G E G F G
For each paired-comparison, raters circle their top choice, then add the number of times a given nomination is circled. For significant discrepancies in how a particular nomination was ranked by multiple raters, review the tables to isolate variations.