Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today congratulated the first team of front line employees to successfully develop and implement a cost savings program under the County’s Rewarding Excellence Bonus Incentive Award Program, also known as gainsharing. Leggett presented a check for $223 to 34 employees involved in implementing the program. Two other employees who joined the process in progress received prorated bonuses. The one-time bonuses are calculated using fifty percent of the actual cost savings realized in the first year of the project and dividing that amount equally among the implementation team members, with a limit of $5,000 to any individual.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Sign and Signal Shop staff developed and executed a program to recover costs from its scrap metal recycling operations by separating and selling the more valuable metals. The County generated additional revenue of $16,047 in the first year of the program’s operation.
“I want to thank the Sign and Signal Shop team for their dedication and hard work in developing a way to increase the County’s revenue,” said Leggett. “During these tight economic times, it’s even more important that we encourage employees to find creative ways to reduce the cost of government. Empowering employees helps create more highly effective employees. The Rewarding Excellence program encourages staff to look for more efficient ways to do business, develops a sense of ownership and fosters an environment of trust and collaboration that helps achieve one of my administration’s key goals – to make County government more responsive and accountable.”
The Rewarding Excellence Program is a partnership between the County and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1994/MCGEO. The program encourages and promotes new, innovative ideas and concepts to enhance delivery of County services and products. The teams examine ways to improve efficiency, increase productivity, reduce costs, streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction.
”I want to congratulate the union members and other employees who were involved in this project,” said UFCW Local 1994/MCGEO President Gino Renne. “The proposals that they developed will enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs. This is an example of how collaboration between the union and the County can benefit our members and taxpayers.”
Gainsharing concepts are generated by teams of eight to 12 people plus one or two facilitators who receive special training. The teams then meet regularly to brainstorm new, money-saving ideas, develop detailed proposals and then present them to senior management and union representatives for approval.
Montgomery County’s gainsharing program, Rewarding Excellence, was featured in the August issue of Governing magazine. The Governing article by Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene focused on the benefits of Gainsharing during tight times when it is needed the most. Montgomery County has chosen to invest in its employees and encourage them to develop creative ways to reduce costs by sharing the rewards.
Rewarding Excellence has so far resulted in five successful proposals that are expected to save the County approximately $850,000 annually. Other projects are in various stages of approval. The Sign Shop’s scrap metal program is the first to have completed their implementation period.
“Front-line employees are in a unique position to identify ways to work more efficiently and develop cost effective solutions,” said Joe Adler, director, Montgomery County Office of Human Resources.
“People in our division occasionally see things that they think could be made more efficient or improved upon in their day-to-day work,” said Joe Pospisil, team leader for the Sign and Signal Shop Gainsharing Team. “The Rewarding Excellence/Gainsharing Program gives us the opportunity to explore the ideas we have and find solutions -- where before we could only talk about them. You find out it can be a lot of work to improve processes or change habits, but in the end it’s satisfying knowing you’ve helped out. And, the check will be nice too.”
MCDOT’s Sign Shop implementation team includes Greg Boyd, Ben Brown, Aweis Hassan, Ron Heffner, John Hockman, James Leach, Grover Miser, Rudy Ramirez, Terence Rhodes, Laundre Saunders and Felix Franco-Urbina. The Signal Shop implementation team includes Jake Adkins, Benji Allnutt, Joe Cavanaugh, Norman Dodson, Robert Duvall, Robert Edmiston, Julio Garcia, Kerry Jones, Lee Kennedy, Robert Lozandier, Gary Morningstar, Eileen Normand, Pramod Patel, Robert Ricketts, Joseph St. Laurent, James Stevenson, Gregory Stilman, Greg Whitener, Bob Young, and Steve Young. The initial design team includes Sam Farhadi, Stella Igbinedion, Kutty Menon, and team leader Joe Pospisil. Marianne Stevenson was the Department of General Services liaison.
“I am very proud of our MCDOT employees, their creativity and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that their operations are the best they can be,” said MCDOT Director Art Holmes. “Changing the way things are done is not always easy. But it is those employees who do the job that know best where the opportunities lie to do things more efficiently.”
More information about Montgomery County’s Gainsharing/Rewarding Excellence program is available on the County’s website.
# # #