Louis & Hortense Rubin Community Fellowship Awards 1997-98

"Design of Staff Rewards, Recognition and Incentive System" - $10,000

  • Institution Name: Lally School of Management and Technology, RPI
  • Cooperating Agency: New York State Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc. (ARC)

The ARC is committed to researching and designing an effective system for recognizing, rewarding, and providing incentives to its lowest paid staff. The rationale for such a system includes continuity, pay scale, outcome orientation, fiscal control, and quality of work life. The ARC already has in place a progressive set of personnel practices. However, it is silent on the subjects of reward, recognition, and incentives. Informal exit interviews indicate that staff members feel that the only time they get any attention is when they do something wrong. First line management, in turn, feels that they are unable to focus on the positive because they spend a disproportionate amount of time filling vacancies, training new staff, and finding coverage. For all these reasons, we want to research and design a Reward, Recognition and Incentive System which helps to address these concerns and is perceived as fair and equitable. Some of the methods include meeting with the staff to prioritize areas in Human Resource Management that most impact their work, design a data collecting system, train managers, set long and short term goals, and research and design non-monetary incentives to be given to both individuals and teams for specific behaviors or achievements.