- Report Published -
|Study of Commonwealth Recognition Programs|
|Department of Human Resource Management|
|Letter Request from House Committee on Rules|
|Pursuant to House Joint Resolution 241, the Commonwealth has considered an incentive program for state employees based on suggestions or improvements that save money for the Commonwealth. The two existing Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) policies, with recommended enhancements, will provide an opportunity for awards and recognition to state employees.|
The Employee Recognition Policy, DHRM Policy No. 1.20, provides a means for state agencies to reward an employee's contributions to the overall objectives of the agency and state government. The recognition policy, when first implemented in 1992, was limited in the type and quantity of awards that could be given. The non-monetary awards with a value of $25 or less limited the ability to provide awards that were comparable to the performance they were to recognize. The September 2000 revisions to the policy have provided for monetary awards, in addition to the non-monetary awards not to exceed $1,000 per employee each fiscal year, which increase the flexibility agencies have to give awards and recognition. Agencies also may award recognition leave up to 5 days per calendar year.
The Employee Suggestion Program (ESP), DHRM Policy No. 1.21, encourages state employees to submit suggestions that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state operations or save money. If after review and evaluation the suggestion is implemented, the employee shares in the savings that result. This policy was adopted in 1985 and produced considerable savings to the state when first implemented. Since the program was decentralized from the Department of Human Resource Management in 1994, the number of suggestions has dropped significantly. For fiscal year 1999, only 94 suggestions were received. During fiscal year 1998-99 the savings resulting from ESP were 65% lower than the average savings over the first 3 years of the program.
These two policies provide the framework for rewarding state employees. They can provide the basis for such innovative employee incentives as spot awards for performance, team awards, and gain sharing. The Recognition Program, as recently revised, provides adequate opportunities to recognize and reward employees; however, changes are recommended to the ESP Program.
ESP has been a viable program that resulted in significant savings and streamlining of state processes. To strengthen the ESP, it is recommended that the program be centralized with administration in the Department of Human Resource Management, Office of Human Resources and Business Engineering. This Office could strengthen the ESP as it promotes and assists with improved business practices throughout state government. The Department would need additional staff (1.5 FTE), and sufficient funds to adequately support and administer the Program.