August 1st, 2013
Employee RecognitionEmployee Focus, by Carlos Braceras.
Over the past several months, our leadership team has been looking into ways to better recognize our great employees here at UDOT and listen to your ideas and concerns. Many of you have provided feedback through an online survey and in-person discussion groups. Thank you for your participation. Because of your input, we will be implementing several new programs in the coming months. Here are some of the areas we will be focusing on:
Management Training – We have some excellent managers and supervisors here at UDOT. I want to make sure they receive proper training on how to provide feedback and positive recognition to all employees. We will be implementing a new training program for all managers that will emphasize good communication and positive verbal recognition.
Award/Incentive Program – I would like to give direct supervisors a way to reward their employees for a job well done. It is a tricky balance between rewarding our employees and being fair with taxpayer dollars. However, I believe we have come up with a program that will accomplish both. Every year, each region/group will be given a number of vouchers to distribute to employees as a “pat on the back.” The vouchers can be traded in for a UDOT logoed shirt. It became apparent through the feedback we received that you are proud of the work you do at UDOT and many of you would like to have a way to display it.
Employee Advisory Council – This committee will give employees a chance to provide new ideas and voice concerns. Too often, I don’t have the chance to hear your ideas or the issues you are dealing with. Through the responses we received, some of you suggested bringing back a committee that could provide feedback to the Executive Director and Deputy Director. My hope is that the new EAC will be a direct and productive channel of communication for both sides. It will be made up of two employees from each region/group who will serve on a rotating basis.
Employee of the Year/Leader of the Year – I would like to continue to award the Employee of the Year and Leader of the Year. It’s a chance for us as a department to recognize the outstanding individuals among us. We will try to make the nomination process as simple as possible so all employees have an equal chance to be recognized. There will also be help available to each region/group in writing the application in order to make the awards process fair. One additional change, we will present the EOY and LOY awards, along with the Career Service award, at the Annual Conference banquet in November.
New Employee Orientation – We will be reintroducing a new employee orientation meeting with several changes. The goal of this session will be to give new employees a good overview of all the different areas in UDOT and an opportunity to meet and interact with the leadership team. Each group leader will be asked to present at the orientation, which will be held on a quarterly basis.
Performance Awards/ASIs – Many of you will be happy to learn that we are beginning to give Performance Awards and ASIs again on a limited basis. Where funding is available, each group and region may give performance awards to up to 6% of their employees for exceptional performance. While I recognize it is a small number, it’s a step in the right direction.
We are still working out the details on all of the new programs so please stay tuned for more information. In addition to the changes I’ve listed above, we will also continue our successful recognition programs such as the Silver Barrel awards and the annual region/complex picnics. Shane and I, along with the leadership team, will also try to be more available to all employees through formal and informal visits to each region and group.
I would like to personally thank each of you for a job well done. My hope is that we can do a better job of recognizing you for the important work you are doing for this department and the state with these new programs.