New program to reward employees for cost-savings ideas

State measure allows for up to $5,000 award

University of Colorado leadership is readying a central program aimed at rewarding employees who generate significant cost-savings ideas for the institution.

The effort follows the passage earlier this year of House Bill 10-1264, which mandates that state agencies reward employees' cost-savings ideas by paying a percentage of the savings to the employee. Under the incentive program, the employee receives 5 percent of the cost savings up to $5,000. The award only is made after a yearlong review of the implemented idea, with payment and recognition coming within 18 months of the initial submission of the idea.

The program is based on a similar one used by the United States Air Force.

"We've had a mechanism that recognized people informally for suggesting ideas, but we never had an award," said Dan Montez, director of the Office of Policy and Efficiency, during the Faculty Council's Dec. 2 meeting.

He noted that the state program has a complicated set of criteria that must be met before an award ultimately can be made to an employee making a suggestion.

"If a great idea comes up, even if it doesn't meet the state requirements, there's still a lot of merit to finding a way to recognize and reward those employees who make the suggestions," said Montez, who noted that incentives for contributing cost-savings ideas previously have been in place within departments of the university. This will be the first time such a program has been applied throughout the institution.

Once administrators have agreed on a process for handling submissions within the university, the Task Force on Efficiency will announce the launch, followed by regular reminders to employees via payroll statements, theFaculty and Staff Newsletter and other communication vehicles.