07/15/05 — County initiates incentive program for its employees

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County initiates incentive program for its employees

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 15, 2005 1:47 PM

Wayne County kicked off an incentive program for county employees this week by recognizing the widow of Joe Terrell, the county's former personnel director.

Mamie Terrell and her daughter, Cynthia, received the first official copy of the program, which gives employees a chance to submit ideas that save work time, reduce expenses or waste, improve quality of services or enhance working conditions.

And they can get paid extra for submitting ideas that work, or they can get paid time off from work.

Suggestions resulting in at least a savings of $5,000 per year to the county will create a bonus of up to $2,500 for the employee who came up with the idea.

Sue Guy, personnel director for the county, said the program was designed to stimulate innovative thinking.

"Employees are encouraged to submit their ideas and proposals that reach beyond the scope of their immediate functions or assigned duties," Mrs. Guy said. "Any suggestion from a group or team that meets the criteria for an award will be treated as if it were received from an individual employee."

Eligible suggestions include a combination of operations or functions, creation of new designs or methods, elimination of duplication, labor, equipment or unnecessary operations.

Ineligible suggestions include personal grievances and complaints, individual employee compensation or position classification, changes in fees or taxes, routine maintenance, or the duplication of a previously submitted suggestion.

Awards are based on two different types of ideas: Tangible and intangible.

Tangible benefits are measured in terms of a savings of at least $5,000 per year, resulting from implementation of employee suggestions. Awards are based on first year net savings.

Intangible suggestions are ideas that may have an overall benefit, but whose benefit cannot be measured in dollars or have a savings value of less than $5,000 per year. They might involve improvements in working conditions, changes in procedures, revision of forms, improvements in employee morale, or employee health or safety.

Employees who come up with intangible ideas that are put into action will get paid leave instead of a cash bonus.

Terrell began working for the county in December 1987, following a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force. He died from cancer in 2002.

"He was a beloved personnel officer," said Mrs. Guy.