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STAR program: Nominate your employee for a job well done

UCOP managers now have another way to acknowledge their employees for a job well done, thanks to the STAR program, which went into effect April 1.

The STAR, or Staff Appreciation and Recognition program, allows managers and supervisors to give one-time cash awards to their staff to recognize exemplary performance that promotes operational and administrative improvements at UCOP.

Awards may be made in amounts of up to 10 percent of an employee’s base salary or $5,000 (whichever is lower) and may be given at any time during the year. Find more details online, including guidelines, eligibility, approval requirements and nomination forms.

Part of a systemwide compensation policy revision issued by President Mark Yudof in 2012, the STAR program replaces local incentive and recognition programs (like UCOP’s SRDP program) with consistent standards and practices for all UC campuses and medical centers.

Local programs were put on hold for several years due to ongoing fiscal challenges, said John Fox, executive director of UCOP Local Human Resources. The new policy gives all UC locations the opportunity to provide staff with meaningful incentives.

“Many UCOP employees are doing projects that save UC money or meet other strategic goals,” Fox said, “so incentives like this are critical, especially when we can’t offer regular salary increases.”

Nominations can be made based on achievement as an individual or as part of a team for exceptional performance, creativity, organizational ability, work success or teamwork.

There will be no central source of funding for the program, so awards must be paid from existing division and department budgets. UCOP is working to create a pool of funding for FY 2013–14 for departments that may have insufficient funds to cover such awards. The program has been approved for UCOP through June 2014.

Eligible employees include policy-covered staff; participation by union-represented employees is subject to collective bargaining and the terms of the applicable bargaining agreements and relevant plan. Senior managers are not eligible.

UCOP Local Human Resources will oversee the program and will communicate program details separately to managers and supervisors. Please direct any questions to Annette Mora, HR Business Partner, at 510-987-0453 or

Fox added that acknowledging employees on a regular basis for their day-to-day efforts is an important motivator for success. Other methods UCOP offers for recognizing employees include:

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