The University of Reading operates a three-tiered recognition scheme that offers both cash and non-cash rewards while being aligned with the organisation’s values.
An online recognition portal, introduced in 2012, enables managers to nominate employees for awards with values ranging from £25 to £100. These can be redeemed for vouchers from various retailers.
When nominating an employee, a manager has to specify what behaviours the individual has displayed and how these relate to the university’s values, which include working together and professionalism.
Exceptional achievements are recognised with cash bonuses. Heads of schools make nominations for these awards, which are signed off by faculty heads. Typically, the bonuses range between £500 and £1,000, and have been awarded to staff that have worked hard to manage the university’s clearing process, taken part in graduation ceremonies or been active in widening participation in higher education.
Staff who demonstrate continued excellent performance can apply for a pay rise, which could see them move up one, two or more pay increments. Typically, each increment represents a 3% increase.
Claire Eckett, HR manager, reward and benefits, at the University of Reading, says: “This process has been devolved down to faculty level rather than being managed centrally. This has encouraged managers to take greater ownership and responsibility for it.”