Aug. 24-30, 2001
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Employee bonus plans in the works
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Employee bonus plans in the works

By Matt Kelly

Managers will now have more options to acknowledge noteworthy employees.

The University has adopted a new plan to reward employees for their workplace contributions, outside the annual review system. The policy presents a framework of nine categories, such as public service, customer service, attendance, improved sales, outstanding performance and worthwhile suggestions. Most of these are broken into three tiers of rewards, with the first level stopping at $250 and the third level at $1,000. The plan, which went into effect on July 1, also carries awards of up to five days’ leave.

Thomas E. Gausvik, chief human resource officer, said the genesis of the plan came from state guidelines as part of the new compensation program approved last year.

“In starting with these categories we tried to cover all areas of recognition,” he said.

He said departments would have to determine what reward categories would be practical and comfortable for them.

“Each department is free to implement only the parts that work for them,” Gausvik said. “If you only have six people in a department, you are not going to have employee of the month.”

Departments have to allocate the award money from their own budgets. The awards are subject to taxes and considered a one-time bonus not counted toward base pay.

Departments are working now on selecting categories and crafting their guidelines, which are due Oct. 1, Gausvik said. Vice presidents have the final approval on the rewards plans, though Human Resources will review all proposals to be sure they conform with state regulations.

The new policy should answer complaints from managers that they did not have enough leeway to reward employees for outstanding performances, Gausvik said.

“Each department can decide on rewards based on its core values, budget and standards.”


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