According to Abilene Reporter News, the city has maintained its employee recognition and incentive program, in spite of the stringent budget cuts it has had to face lately. The belief that the employee incentive program is worth the time and effort is precisely what has kept the program alive.
According to the paper, regardless of the recent budget slashes following a decline in sales tax receipts, the money budgeted annually for employee recognition has not been cut.
The city has kept its “Spotlight on Excellence” program that recognizes employees for going “above and beyond the call of duty”. The city acknowledges and honors hardworking employees for their actions and rewards them with monetary gifts.
The article also emphasizes the importance of avoiding “Employee of the Month”- type programs that focus on singling out individuals, as well as manager-led programs as they might lead to accusations of favoritism.
Most recently three police officers were honored for helping a delivery truck driver, whose truck went off the road after a crash. The truck was filled with 8,000 pounds of frozen pizza which would have had to be thrown away. The officers called Salvation Army, who used all the pizza to feed those staying at the shelter.
With another tough year ahead, Abilene faces a $4-million budget cut if it wants to give planned pay raises to police and firefighters and avoid laying off city workers. The city will have to make tough decisions and is considering increasing property taxes.