DFM memo announces change in awards program;
purchased gifts no longer permitted
In response to the realities of a deteriorating economy, the governor’s office has made the directive that state funds no longer be used to purchase service awards.
In a memo to all Executive Branch Agencies Judie Wright, Administrator of the Division of Human Resources, stated that, “Beginning July 1, 2009, DHR will send the agencies certificates of service signed by the governor for those employees reaching a service milestone. In addition, employees with 20 years or more of state service will receive a letter from the Governor.” (See Department of Human Resources memo)
The memorandum also stated, “Please note that service award gifts may not be purchased
using agency funds.”
ITD’s annual budget for service awards represents approximately 0.0054 percent (zero, point zero, zero five four) of the total department’s appropriation. ITD has always felt that the minimal cost of the program is far outweighed by the benefits of the program in recognizing our most valuable asset – our employees.
Although the need to balance budget is real, the importance of consistent recognition plays a huge part in the work environment at ITD. Mary Harker, ITD’s HR Manger responded: “ITD has set several objectives to achieve ITD’s strategic focus area of ‘Investing In Our People.’ Two of those major objectives are to 1) Become an employer of choice and 2) to create an environment where people thrive.
“I am not convinced that the small amount of money saved by cutting funding for awards is worth the message this sends to our employees about our commitment to achieving these strategic goals. If there was anything ITD could have done to change this directive, we would certainly have done so.”
In light of the state’s directive, ITD has no choice but to discontinue the service awards program at the same level.
We are deeply saddened by this change. We will continue to recognize those employees who have reached a milestone throughout the year as the state has directed.
“Here at Headquarters, we will continue to hold our spring and fall service award ceremonies where we will distribute the letters and certificates from the Governor’s Office. Human Resource Services will continue to reinvent the employee recognition and service award programs. Our challenge will be to turn this setback into a defining moment in which we are able to produce a meaningful employee service award program.”