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Incorporating a "bonus" System into to Reward High Performance

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The 2007 performance review cycle has ushered in a new tool for measuring performance. This tool is developmental in nature and, as such, is not linked to compensation in any way. This is a departure from our previous means of measuring performance, as the results of the tool were used to allocate yearly bonuses.

It is our belief that by removing compensation from the appraisal process, we will free managers and employees to more accurately reflect on true performance and to develop that performance. However, we must still find a way in which to offer incentive to truly excel in one's job. For high-functioning staff particularly, money is a performance motivator. To deny that fact would be to dismiss useful means of motivating and rewarding top performance. In order to capitalize on the motivational potential of financial incentives, while minimizing the negative effects of tying compensation to appraisal, we must create a separate system that incorporates financial rewards for strong contributions that support and further our mission.


In addition to, and separate from, the Talent Review conducted on an annual basis, we propose that employees also be given an opportunity to participate in a "bonus" program. This program will involve mutual goal setting between the manager and the employee at the end of the year, for the year ahead. These goals would need to adhere to SMART (subjective, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based) principles and would be approved by the administrator for the program and HR, if required. Along with adhering to SMART principles, the goals must demonstrate a significant impact on patient care, system improvement or cost containment, must be aligned with current organizational strategies/needs, and are in addition to or an improvement of the routine tasks involved in the position. In order to be eligible to participate in the bonus program, the employee must have completed his/her orientation period and be considered "proficient" in all aspects of his/her job.

Employees who choose to participate in this program will, upon goal obtainment, receive a one-time bonus, not tied to their annual compensation, and based on the overall "score" received for having met their goal(s).


Goals will be rated on a multifaceted scale, such as follows:

Difficulty of Goal Strategic Impact of Goal Level of Completion

1 Low The goal is well within the employee's abilities and should be easy to reach 1 Low If completed, the goal will have low impact on the overall strategy of the department/ organization 0



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