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Task Force creating a more accurate F&B employee recognition strategy

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Employee recognition is essential for a productive workplace. It provides confirmation that an employee's contribution is noticed and that their work is valued - both major contributors to high job satisfaction, greater engagement and improved productivity.

For years, Penn State's Finance and Business (F&B) division recognized its exceptional employees for their outstanding contributions through the Quality Service Quality People (QSQP) awards. But in the years since the first QSQP awards were presented, so much about F&B had changed that the awards program no longer accurately reflected the business unit's purpose, goals or culture. QSQP was suspended for 2016 while a thorough review of the awards purpose and process were evaluated.

Spearheaded by Human Resources' Vice President Susan Basso, a team of volunteers from the F&B units of Human Resources, Office of Physical Plant, University Police & Public Safety, Risk Management, Controller, Internal Audit and Axillary and Business Services assembled to evaluate the current QSQP program and provide recommendations based on benchmarking and input from the units.

"As leadership, processes and strategic priorities change, we must continually ask ourselves if employee recognition accurately reflects the efforts, strengths and outstanding contributions of our high-performing employees," Basso said. "Too often we allow tradition to be our guide when we should be recognizing individuals who exceed organizational expectations by overcoming the unique challenges of a changing culture."

Assembled in May, the nine person task force quickly went to work developing a project plan and spent the next three months compiling a current-state assessment. By July, the group was reviewing current data, and benchmarking the best practices for comparable institution to assess possibilities for a future state F&B reward strategy.

The groups is now ready to begin to reach out to and talk with F&B employees regarding their thoughts on reward recognition and what will be most meaningful. Beginning in mid-October, individuals or existing committees within F&B units may be asked to participate in focus groups. Also, a survey will be available in the News and Features section of F&B websites for employees to provide input.

That survey can be completed through this link: https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1AeLMGAuNGTVwgt

F&B employee input and ideas are extremely valuable to the process, and all employees are encouraged to both complete the survey and participate in the focus groups.

If you are interested in participating in the focus groups, or have questions about the QSQP process, please reach out to any member of the task force.

The task force includes Sue Cromwell, committee chair and director of Human Resources' Workplace Learning and Performance; Cassandra Kitko, manager of Employee Benefits in Human Resources; Linda Tobin, benefits specialist in Human Resources; Terri Parker, director of Administrative & Financial Services in the Office of Physical Plant; Pam Soule, public safety officer with University Police & Public Safety; Kim Hannon, administrative support coordinator for Risk Management; Lori Fetterolf, accountant in the Office of the Controller; Nathan Cooke, an auditor in Internal Audit, and Brain Naviglia, an Human Resources generalist in Axillary and Business Systems.