May 11, 2007

elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: Is the recognition and rewards program, which can greatly increase a staff member's connection to this organization, being effectively used and monitored?

Answer: We've only now begun monitoring to ensure that individual supervisors put this very worthwhile program to use. In September 2005, when we launched Recognize (that's what we call our rewards and recognition program), we knew that it would take time for the 400 or so VUMC supervisors who were given spending authority to start using the program with the intended frequency.

Today, judging by the continued overall slow pace of spending, it appears that quite a few supervisors may require additional assistance or encouragement to use the program. We'll be contacting those supervisors who appear to need help.

For fiscal year 2007, VUMC budgeted just over $1.1 million for monetary rewards under Recognize; however, as of March 31, with three months remaining until the end of this fiscal year, only $289,000 had been spent.

We know what other organizations typically spend on recognition and rewards programs, so we have no reason to believe that we've over-budgeted our program at VUMC. And we now need to become more accustomed to giving special rewards.

Supervisors have until June 30 to apply fiscal 2007 Recognize funds. For program guidelines, see the Recognize Web site (go to the HR site, select “pay and performance”). Any supervisor needing further assistance should call my office, 322-0698.

— Susie Lyons, manager, employee programs