Incentives & Awards

The Incentive Compensation and Rewards Program promotes efficiency and effectiveness in achieving strategic organizational goals; and enhances the recruitment, engagement, learning, and retention of critical skills and talent necessary to achieve institutional goals. Incentive plans are also acceptable for rewarding exceptional performance on critical projects or needs substantially above the normal work requirements. 

Use the following menu to navigate this page:

Message Archive

Just in case you missed something along the way, are new to award management at Georgia Tech, or just want to review all updates in one place, we've provided links to FY21 messages below.  

May 12, 2021
This is the presentation from the Critical Conversations overview to introduce the new incentive programs.

April 29, 2021
View a live demonstration of the submission process for FY21 incentive and award payments. 

January 29, 2021
This message contains an update about the Docusign payment request forms. 

January 15, 2021
Read more about the site launch and FY21 awards approval.

December 18, 2020 
This message contained year-end updates for the program, announced the development of a website and gave a projected timeline for approvals.

November 11, 2020 
We sent this update after the plan was reviewed by USG.

August 24, 2020
This plan update came after the submission to one USG.

July 27, 2020
This message came as a followup to the second live session. USG announced additional awards for the FY21 Incentive Program.

June 10, 2020
We shared this message with Award Managers after the first overview session introducing FY21 Incentive Program.

USG Incentive Plan Review - June 8, 2020
View the presentation for an overview of the FY21 Incentive Plan. 

Award Manager Listserv

Click here to join the Award Manager Email List

If you want to know what's going on you should subscribe here. 

Payment Request Forms

To streamline the submission process, we are using DocuSign.

Access the Georgia Tech forms using these instructions

In special cases, (i.e. post doc award) you may need to use this Supplemental Pay Request Form. Please contact Cedric Franklin for guidance. 

Issuing Award Payments

  1. Complete the relevant DocuSign payment request form for your award type for each award recipient.
  2. Login to OneUSG Connect.
  3. Create a Supplemental Payment Request.
  4. Select your Supplemental Pay Type. This will be a one-time payment.
  5. Select the appropriate award pay code within OneUSG Connect (e.g. Goal Based Incentive, Employee Suggestion Program, etc.) IMPORTANT: If your award type is Exceptional Performance Incentive or Critical Skills Incentive please select “Employee Award” as the supplemental pay code.
  6. Attach the completed DocuSign payment request form to your Supplemental Payment Request in OneUSG Connect.
    NOTE: Within OneUSG Connect, you are only required to attach the completed Docusign payment request form. If you choose to include additional attachments, they should only contain the award recipient's name. For example, if a group receives the award, other group members should not be listed. Please redact any additional names. 
  7. Please add current month SPD (Salary Project Detail) for the employee.
  8. Add a comment to each Supplemental Pay Request stating the award name and if the amount should be grossed up.
  9. You must adhoc Cedric Franklin as an approver after Level 1. Certain departments may require additional adhoc approvers, check with your department for details. For faculty award payments, please add Greg Hampton, payroll analyst, as an adhoc approver after Level 4.

Incentive & Award Program Details

Goal-Based Incentive (GBI)

Goal-based Incentive Program (GBI): The Goal-based Incentive Program may be used by an awarding unit to reward an employee or team for meeting or exceeding predetermined, and objectively measurable criteria that are beyond and above the employee’s normal work requirements, addresses a critical strategic need and enhances the effective operation of the awarding unit.

  1. Goal-Based Incentive plans must include the following components:
    • The critical need that will be addressed by the program for the awarding unit
    • Eligible jobs and/or positions that are eligible to participate
    • Terms and conditions of employee eligibility
    • Pre-determined productivity standard or revenue goal(s) that are significantly above normal business goals and objectives, and the amount(s) to be awarded to eligible employees who meet or exceed the established criteria.
  2. Goal-Based Incentive payment:
    • A Goal-based incentive payment is a one-time payment for meeting or exceeding established predetermined criteria above normal business goals and objectives. Goal-based incentives may be paid only to eligible employees in jobs and/or positions listed in the plan.
    • Employees must be in good performance standing (received a meets expectations or higher rating on their most recent performance review and no disciplinary actions) to be eligible for an incentive payment.
    • To receive an incentive payment, the individual must be a current employee of the awarding unit at the time of payment.
Goal-Based Incentive-Athletic Coaches and Administrators (GBI)

Goal-Based Incentive Programs-Athletic Coaches and Administrators (GBI): The Goal-based Incentive Program may be used to provide coaches and key administrators within the athletic department the opportunity to receive a one-time lump sum payment based on annual team and academic performance.

  1. Goal-Based Incentive Plans must include the following components:
    • The critical need for the Georgia Tech Athletic Association (GTAA) addressed by the program is hiring quality coaches and administrators is a major challenge within a highly competitive market that includes, but is not limited to intercollegiate athletics (Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference) and professional sports (Atlanta Hawks, Braves, United, Falcons, etc.). By providing an incentive compensation and rewards structure allows GTAA to compete in the local and national marketplace
    • Eligible jobs and/or positions that are eligible to participate
    • Terms and conditions of employee eligibility
    • Pre-determined productivity standard or revenue goal(s) that are significantly above normal business goals and objectives, and
    • The amount(s) to be awarded to eligible employees who meet or exceed the established criteria.
  2. Goal-Based Incentive Payment:
    • A Goal-based incentive payment is a one-time payment for meeting or exceeding established predetermined criteria above normal business goals and objectives. Goal-based incentives may be paid only to eligible employees in jobs and/or positions listed in the plan.
    • Employees must be in good performance standing (received a meets expectations or higher rating on their most recent performance review and no disciplinary actions) to be eligible for an incentive payment.
    • To receive an incentive payment, the individual must be a current employee of the GTAA at the time of payment.
 
Critical Hiring Incentive (CHI)

Critical Hire Incentive Program (CHI): The Hiring Incentive Program is a formalized incentive program designed to provide the awarding unit greater flexibility to hire prospective employees with critical skills and qualifications necessary to meet strategic business objectives. For an awarding unit to utilize critical hiring incentive payments, a certified Hiring Incentive plan is approved in coordination with GTHR and as a part of the annual submission, reviewed by the USG before such utilization.

  1. A Hiring Incentive Plan must include the following:
    • The critical need that will be met
    • A list of the jobs and/or positions that the unit will make eligible for hiring incentive compensation based on one or more of the criteria listed below.
    • The incentive amount(s) to be awarded.
  2. Hiring Incentive Criteria - Position must be determined by the awarding unit in coordination with GTHR as critical and hard-to-fill:
    • Such as a vacant position over an excessive period with no qualified applicants, or that requires a skill set that is unavailable or rare in a particular geographic region)
    • A position that is critical to a unit meeting its accreditation standards
    • A position that is critical to maintaining public safety
  3. Hiring Incentive Payment:
    A hiring incentive payment is a one-time payment for the hire of a prospective employee with critical skills and qualifications.

    • Hiring incentive payments may only be used for jobs and/or positions listed in the unit’s plan.
    • The incentive payment is paid as one lump sum; the employee is responsible for any repayment of incentive as outlined in the continuous employment requirements and repayment agreement.
    • Incentive payment may not exceed more than 10% of base salary
Critical Skills Retention Incentive (CSI)

Critical Skills Retention Incentive (CSI). An awarding unit that is experiencing difficulties in hiring or retaining employees with job-related industry-specific credentials (i.e., degree and/or certifications) may establish a retention incentive program for learning new critically needed employment skills. This type of program encourages and rewards current employees who become certified or credentialed in highly desired job-related skills and enhance the capabilities of the unit.

  1. For an awarding unit to utilize critical skills retention incentives, an established plan to include the following components before implementation must be submitted:
    • (1) The pre-determined specific credentials and the job-related need of the unit that makes it essential or critical for employees to learn the new skills (2). Different levels of credentials, such as those that are most mission-critical and highly valued in the labor market. (The most highly valued certifications may require a certain amount of job-relevant experience in addition to passing an examination.) (3) Supporting documentation on the job-related industry credentials and value to the organization.
    • A list of the jobs and/or positions that the unit will make eligible for the incentive compensation based on established criteria, GTHR analysis (review/approval of critical skill/certification for the retention program), and USG approval of the program for compliance with policy.
    • Employee eligibility and terms and conditions of eligibility
      1. Employees must be in good performance standing (received a meets expectation or higher on their most recent performance review and no disciplinary actions) to be eligible for an incentive payment.
      2. To receive an incentive payment, the individual must be a current employee of the awarding unit at the time of payment.
  2. Critical Skills Incentive Payment: The critical skills incentive payment is a one-time payment for learning new, critically needed employment skills and the achievement of specified certification or credential.
    • The incentive amount to be awarded. The award may be paid as a one-time lump sum payment not added to base either as a flat amount or a percentage of base salary. It does not become a part of the base salary. The max % that can be awarded without additional review/approval is 2% of an employee’s base salary. The review and approval of critical skill/certification for the retention program is done by GTHR.
    • Attached documentation of critical skills attained to be submitted with award request form is necessary.
  3. The incentive payments may only be awarded for the achievement of degrees, certifications, and/or credentials that are pre-determined and listed in the approved annual submission plan. The critical skills and credentials included in the plan should be re-evaluated annually to ensure relevancy.
  4. Continuous Service Requirement. The unit policy should require education incentive payments to be contingent upon the employee’s agreement in writing to repay a portion thereof upon separation if the employee does not remain employed a minimum specified period. The specified period and the repayment schedule are determined by GTHR unless otherwise noted by the unit.
  5. Qualifying credentials may not be a minimum requirement of the job. Achievement of such credentials should result in increased knowledge and skills that enhance the incumbent’s ability to perform the job or the unit’s ability to meet a critical need.
Exceptional Performance Incentive (EPI)

Exceptional Performance Incentive (EPI). An awarding unit may use this incentive program to recognize individual employees or teams who achieve exceptional levels of performance in one or more areas of strategic focus. Rewards are tied to the accomplishment of expected results which must be identified and communicated at the beginning of the performance plan cycle. Exceptional Performance incentives are merit-based, reflecting the employee or team’s performance as evaluated by the reviewing authority against established criteria.

  1. The exceptional performance incentive plan must include the following components:
    • Program guidelines to include protocol, nomination and selection process, timelines, and approval authority
    • Predetermined standards and achievement goals. The standards must be significantly above normal performance expectations and in support of the unit’s strategic goals and objectives
    • Evaluation criteria and review process. All incentive programs should clearly articulate the individual performance levels required to qualify for an incentive payout, including any tiers or levels based on performance criteria, and required documentation. The program design should be clear and in alignment with the units performance management system
    • The incentive reward type and amount to be awarded to eligible employees who meet or exceed the established criteria to include the maximum award amount. Award types may include:
      1. Performance incentive payment. A one-time payment for exceeding performance expectations. The payment does not become part of base salary and may be calculated as a flat amount or % of base salary;
      2. Professional development funding; and/or
      3. Commemorative recognition (plaques/certificates).
    • Eligible employees and terms and conditions of eligibility and restrictions
      1. Employees must be in good performance standing (received a meets expectations or higher rating on their most recent performance review and no disciplinary actions) to be eligible.
      2. To receive an incentive payment, the individual must be a current employee of the awarding unit at the time of payment.
Employee Suggestions Program (ESP)

Employee Suggestion Program (ESP). Units may use this incentive program to recognize employees who provide a suggestion or idea to improve the awarding unit operations and/or efficiency. The suggestion or idea must be beyond and above the normal responsibilities of the job and implemented by a unit with a recorded outcome of improved effectiveness.

  1. For an awarding unit to utilize the employee suggestion program incentive, an established plan to include the following components before implementation must be submitted
  • Implemented suggestions resulting in Quantifiable Saving
  • All other implemented suggestions
    • Other suggestions that are approved, adopted, and implemented by a unit may result in significant improvements that cannot be measured (e.g., suggestions involving improvements in working conditions; changes in procedures, or employee morale, health, or safety, etc.). These suggestions may be eligible for a maximum cash award of $100.

2. Employee Suggestion Award payments:

  • An employee whose suggestion is approved, adopted, and implemented by a unit that results in direct and measurable cash savings or cost avoidance may receive a cash award (e.g. a reward amount that is based on a percentage of the expected 1st-year savings).
  • Certificates of Commendation: When the submitted suggestion results only in minimal savings or minor improvement, the employee may receive a certificate of commendation in lieu of a cash award. An employee receiving a cash award may also receive a certificate of commendation.
  • Award Payments of 5K must be approved by the President and then submitted to the Chancellor for approval
Extraordinary Service Acts or Achievements Program (EXSP)

Extraordinary Service Acts or Achievements Program (EXSP): Units may use this type of non-monetary reward program to recognize an employee or group of employees who go beyond the ordinary demands of the job in performing an extraordinary service, act, or achievement in the public interest and related to the awarding unit’s mission, vision, and goals.

1. Service, acts, or achievements deserving of an Extraordinary Service reward include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Performing an act of heroism above and beyond the normal demands of the job;
  • Responding extraordinarily to an unanticipated problem or opportunity on behalf of the unit;
  • Performing a service, act, or achievement that particularly enhances public perception of the unit; or
  • Obtaining innovative or unique success when others’ efforts have failed or it has been stated that the job could not be done.
Employee Service Recognition Programs

Employee Service Recognition Programs. An awarding unit may develop programs to recognize employees for length of service and meritorious performance. Appropriate awards denoting various lengths of service are determined by the awarding unit.

  1. Funding. State funds may not be used for the purchase of awards unless the total dollar value of the award is of a de minims nature; which is $75 or less (as defined in BPM 5.3.17.1.2). If the total dollar value of the award is greater than $75, then each unit must obtain an outside source of funds for such a program.