Cash Awards for Suggestions that Help

The College has developed an Employee Suggestion Award program to recognize and reward employees. The Board of Directors recently approved the adoption of this program for management and classified staff. Employees who either have developed an innovative, implementable way to improve a college process or service or have taken significant actions above and beyond the call of duty that are recognized as such by their supervisor are eligible for employee awards.


All full and part-time permanent Academic Professional, Classified, Confidential, Faculty and Management except the President and those who report directly to the President, are eligible.

How it Works

An employee (or group of employees) presents the idea via Employee Suggestion Awards Application to the supervisor of the division/department directly impacted by the change. (The employee does not have to work for that division/department.) The supervisor then assesses the idea and gets back to the employee within 10 days. (If it will take longer than ten days to assess the recommendation, the supervisor will share that information within the ten days, and get back to the recommending person on the result of the assessment as soon as possible.) If the change is accepted, the supervisor identifies an award amount and submits this information to the appropriate Executive Officer for approval. Once the Executive Officer’s written approval is obtained, the description and approved award amount is sent to payroll for check generation within 5 working days. Payroll will forward the award to the supervisor for communication of the good news and the handing of the check to the employee. The employee is awarded 50% of the award amount at the time of approval and the remaining 50% after twelve months of verification of savings. Award checks will be net of required tax withholding.

If the change would not be beneficial, or is not possible, the supervisor will describe to the employee why the recommendation should not, or cannot be implemented.

Supervisors may choose to initiate an award for an employee(s) taking significant action above and beyond the call of duty. The award is reviewed and processed in the same manner as if was recommended by an employee.

Anonymous Application

If an employee feels that he/she wants to recommend a change anonymously, or doesn't know which supervisor to whom a particular application should be presented, the application should be submitted to the Award Facilitator. The Award Facilitator will forward the application to the affected division/department supervisor. If the supervisor judges the recommendation to be a good one, he/she will identify an award amount and communicate the information to the Award Facilitator. The Award Facilitator will, at that point, identify the person making the recommendation to the supervisor.

Award Amount

When the employee-recommended change or action results in a dollar benefit to the College that can be quantified, the award is based on projected annual savings or revenue. The award is equal to 10% of the savings or revenue, with a minimum award of $100 and a maximum of $5,000 per recommendation. If a recommended change results in a savings or revenue to the College that is ongoing, the award will be continued for two full years at a maximum of $5,000 per year.

When a recommendation will clearly result in improved customer service or some other significant benefit to the College, but the benefit cannot be quantified, the supervisor of the department impacted will determine the amount of the award, ranging from $100 to $1,000.

If an award is going to a team, the team can identify how to allocate the award among the team members or the award will be divided equally among the team members.

In cases where the change or action results in a dollar benefit to the College, the award amount will be funded from that savings or additional revenue. In cases where the change or action does not result in a dollar savings to the College, the benefiting division/department will tap resources from a separate fund for quality enhancements to pay for the award. The executive officers approve awards from and monitor this separate pool of funds.


An employee suggests a change to improve how records are kept in Division/Department A. The supervisor of Division/Department A accepts this change as a beneficial improvement and calculates an annual savings of $40,000, which will continue indefinitely. The employee is awarded $4,000 during the first year (10% of the savings estimated to accrue over the next 12 months). And, one year later, the employee is awarded an additional $4,000 as the final financial recognition for the improvement to record keeping in Division/Department A. The employee could get additional awards for different recommendations which are accepted.

Award Disputes

Sylvia Welch has been appointed as the Award Facilitator, for the purpose of facilitating disputes over awards. However, it is ultimately the supervisor’s call if a recommended change benefits a division/department. The decision of the supervisor in this regard is not grievable.

If an employee feels that he/she should have received an award, and did not, the employee must submit the facts of the situation, in writing, to the Award Facilitator. The Award Facilitator will review this written submission, ask questions, as needed, and present a fact finding report to the supervisor for consideration.

If you have questions about the Awards program, contact Ann Baynton (971-722-5872) or Pattie Hollamon (971-722-5864) or Cheryl Belt (971-722-5869).

Policy Revisions

This policy is to be reviewed periodically and refined as needed to ensure that the intended purposes of the policy are being met. Changes to this policy must be approved by the President.