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Caroline plan rewards workers for good ideas
Caroline County workers could walk away with more cash in their pockets if their innovative ideas and money-saving suggestions benefit the county.
A new employee incentive program, approved by the Board of Supervisors last week, will encourage employees to provide suggestions.
Western Caroline Supervisor Jeff Black suggested the idea earlier this year and staff did research to help make it happen.
He said he sees it in private industry and thought it would work for the county.
“Employees have a right to be rewarded by an innovative idea,” he said.
The point of the program is to:
- improve the overall operations of the county
- increase the efficiency and effectiveness of county services
- provide the safest possible working environment and community for the county’s employees and citizens
- promote a positive image for the county.
The suggestions are categorized two ways.
A suggestion is defined as “a new or original idea or a new or updated application of an existing process or procedure. It must identify and address a specific problem or area for improvement and present a solution and actual benefits, tangible or intangible,” according to a draft of the policy.
A tangible suggestion is one resulting in measurable savings or an increase in revenue.
An intangible suggestion is one for which dollar savings cannot be calculated but which results in significant improvements in county operations, such as improvement in customer service, employee morale, safety, public relations, etc.
All county employees are eligible except for elected officials, those appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the county administrator, the assistant county administrator and department heads.
The suggestions will be vetted by the newly formed employee incentive program committee, which consists of the human resources manager, a budget representative from the finance department and up to three members appointed by the county administrator.
The members of the committee will serve three fiscal-year terms and represent a diversity of departments.
Awards for implemented tangible suggestions will range from $100 to $1,000.
The amount of the award will be 10 percent of the projected and documented first-year savings, up to $1,000. It will be given either to an individual employee or divided equally among the team members who submitted the suggestion.
Awards for intangible suggestions will be $75 to either an individual or a team.
At the meeting, Assistant County Administrator Alan Partin said the county spoke with the Virginia Institute of Government and looked at how eight other counties around the state operated similar plans.
He said Caroline’s plan most closely resembles the one in the city of Portsmouth.
Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413