Productivity and Rewards Program

Policy HR & Staff Development Productivity and Rewards Program

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The Productivity and Rewards Program has been primarily designed to:

  • Manage incremental progression for the achievement of consistent satisfactory performance and address below standard performance through the withholding of incremental progression;

  • Provide one off bonuses and/or other rewards in recognition of exceptional performance either from an individual, group of individuals or a specific team;

  • Use University awards to recognise outstanding employee contributions to, research excellence, teaching excellence and performance excellence;

  • Reward sustained high performance, specifically the consistent achievement of all performance objectives against key performance indicators and the attainment of strong outcomes against University professional development competencies as defined within the Performance Management Policy (PMP);

  • Provide a basis for the articulation of academic staff performance into the University promotion processes.


This policy applies to all ongoing Academic and Professional and Technical Employees, including casuals.

Key Objectives

The key objectives of the Productivity and Rewards policy are to:

  • Provide a mechanism for rewarding and formally recognising individual high performance work efforts judged against individual Performance Management Program targets and strategic objectives of the University;

  • Develop the capability and performance of employees through professional development;

  • Support the introduction of quality management principles across the University, ensuring that rewards are based on the principles of quality customer service, communication, knowledge and professional development, team work, accountability, continuous improvement and responsiveness to change;

  • Ensure that performance based remuneration is managed equitably and fairly across the University.

Key Values

The Productivity and Rewards program incorporates the following principles:

  • Clear and Regular Communication - The principles of the Performance Management Program are shared by the Productivity and Rewards program. The University recognises the need for supervisors and employees to set clear performance expectations and come to a shared understanding regarding associated reward mechanisms, both when planning performance expectations and at the time of performance review and performance measurement;

  • Fairness, Transparency and Merit - The Productivity and Rewards policy guides managers and employees in objectively and fairly making decisions regarding performance reward;

  • Balanced Approach to Rewarding Performance - Individual employee performance is often dependent on their ability to operate effectively as an effective team member, and on the efforts of other members of their team. The Productivity and Rewards program's direct links with the Performance Management Program, rewards high performance by considering a balanced outcome between the factors of team work, interpersonal effectiveness, customer service, leadership effectiveness, accountability, continuous improvement, and individual achievement against goals and objectives;

  • Best Practice Reward Management - The Productivity and Rewards framework has been designed around a multi-dimensional reward system.


Below Standard Performance” – Following the completion of the review the employee did not attain all objective Key Performance Indicators. While the employee may have strengths in some areas of professional competence the employee has identified weaknesses in a number of other areas and would benefit from targeted training and development to address needed areas of improvement.

Exceptional Level of Performance” – Employee met all objectives and exceeded Key Performance Indicator requirements and shows strengths in all areas of professional competence at current level of classification.

Performance Reward” – A reward that has been agreed through the Performance Management Program, or as part of an employment contract, for meeting a specified productivity target. Performance rewards can be an incremental progression, the bestowing of a special award, a level of cash payment in the form of a bonus, improved access to professional development, or some other form of reward provided to an employee in recognition of, exceptional or outstanding performance outcomes.

Satisfactory Standard of Performance” – Employee met all objectives and all associated Key Performance Indicator requirements and shows strengths in a number of areas of professional competence with some areas of development identified.

Policy and Procedures

1. Delegations

Operational management of this policy is the responsibility of the Director, Human Resources and is to be achieved through:

  • Development, implementation and maintenance of a best practice framework in consultation with the University community;

  • Provision of training, advice, and coaching to supervisors and employees in the correct application of the process;

  • Undertaking audit and compliance checks;

  • Maintaining a reporting framework to the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Committee (VCAC), linkages to the PMP, and updates to policies and processes.

Executive Group and Management Group are responsible for ensuring the Productivity and Rewards processes are implemented as required.

Awards provided under the provisions of this policy will be monitored by the Director, HR.

2. Preliminary

The performance reward and recognition process is directly linked to the University PMP process and all rewards provided under the Productivity and Rewards program will be subject to audit against PMP outcomes.

Costs associated with rewards under the Productivity and Rewards program are to be met from the cost centre budget, except in those instances where the reward is specifically designated from a University funding initiative. No additional funding will be provided to the cost centre within a budget year. Maintenance of commitments to Productivity and Rewards incentives will need to be factored into cost centre budgets.

Allocation of funding for reward and recognition programs:

  • Productivity and Reward outcomes should be self funded from productivity gains, achievement of strategic goals, and performance improvements for the University, either by way of increased income generation, or through cost savings that result from key initiatives;

  • Rewards within a specific cost centre funding will be the responsibility of the relevant PVC/DVC;

  • The University will also maintain a central fund to provide for University wide recognition and reward initiatives. The Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, will be responsible for managing of this fund and determining individual awards.

Rewards must be of a type approved under the Policy.

Each PVC/DVC must record and report annually on all outcomes awarded under the performance recognition and reward policy.

3. Applying the Productivity and Rewards System

An employee will be eligible to receive an award under the policy only where the PMP performance standard has been assessed as exceptional, and both individual and organisational development outcomes have been achieved to the agreed level. Accordingly awards will only be made to those employees who achieve a balanced performance assessment against the critical areas of:

  • Individual achievements and performance as defined by performance objectives and KPIs. Measurable key performance indicators must be established at the commencement of the PMP cycle;

  • Contribution to organisational outcomes as defined by the standards achieved against professional competence measurement within the University PMP system.

When determining an appropriate award outcome for an employee a Middle Manager must consider the collective contributions of other employees that may have facilitated the achievement of an individual employee's high level of performance. In recognising such contributions the Middle Manager in consultation with the individual employee should consider whether it is necessary to extend an award allocation to other employees under a gain-sharing arrangement.

All Productivity and Reward recommendations should be discussed with the employee prior to confirmation of the recommendation by a Senior Manager. Where it is recommended that an employee's reward be withheld as a result of below standard performance, the employee must be provided opportunity to respond and provide feedback to this recommendation.

The system includes a mix of performance based rewards, each of which has specific objectives.

4. Types of Productivity Incentive Rewards

4.1 Incremental Progression

Incremental progression is awarded on the basis of an employee achieving a satisfactory standard of performance in respect to stated performance objectives/KPIs and all areas of professional development.

4.2 Performance Bonus

Subject to requirements outlined in the Clause 3 paragraphs 1 and 2, a performance bonus may be awarded to an individual employee or group of employees where performance is:

  • Exceptional and their work output significantly contributes to achieving significant improvements in productivity, or improved organisational performance. Exceptional means that performance outcomes should be unexpected and result from work that is outside of the normal substantive role and responsibility of the employee or group of employee's, or;

  • To a pre-determined standard that was defined under an individual incentive arrangement reached between the employee and the University at the commencement of the PMP cycle.


  • Any employee who is awarded a performance bonus under Clause 4.3 must also have achieved an exceptional standard of performance in terms of meeting substantive objectives/KPIs and professional development needs;

  • A performance bonus is a one-off non-recurrent payment made to the employee and should follow the completion of the PMP cycle. All payments must be made through the Salaries office and is not superannuable;

  • Except in instances where bonus arrangements are pre-determined, the University may offer other forms of rewards in lieu of monetary bonuses.

4.3 Other University Performance Excellence Awards

The University administers a range of awards for the purpose of recognising outstanding contributions of staff in their specific roles including teaching, research and administration:

  • All awards are subject to provisions of Clause 3 paragraphs 1 and 2;

  • Teaching excellence awards are to be determined subject to the provisions of the JCU Quality Teaching policies administered by the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Staff Development and Student Affairs);

  • Research excellence awards are to be determined subject to the provisions of the JCU Research policies administered by the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and International);

  • Outstanding contributions of both Academic and Professional and Technical employees can also be recognised through the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence and the Professional and Technical Employees Development Grants;

  • Outstanding contributions to research supervision subject to the provisions of JCU Research Supervision policies administered through the Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

4.4 Other Exceptional Performance Reward Mechanisms

In addition to the awarding of an increment, and as an alternative to a performance bonus arrangement, where an employee achieves a consistent high standard of performance throughout the review cycle (i.e. exceeds all performance objectives and demonstrates strengths against most areas of professional development), the University may recognise such achievement through:

  • Academic promotion and/or progression subject to requirements of the Academic Promotions Policy, or;

  • Being provided opportunity for Higher Duties Allowance or Secondment suited to their designated career aspirations, subject to the policies: Payment of Higher Duties Allowance and Secondment, or;

  • Providing monetary and/or in-kind support for professional development subject to the JCU Staff Development Policy, or;

  • For employees occupying positions classified HEWL 1-8, and the employee has been paid at the top of the salary scale for that position for at least a year, and the employees performance in that position has been assessed in the Performance Management Program as superior, the employee will be paid at the first salary point of the next HEWL while performance remains superior;

  • Where suited to organisational needs being provided workplace flexibility privileges that would not otherwise be provided to the employee.

5. Below Standard Performance

5.1. Unsatisfactory Performance

Managers are required to effectively manage below standard performance, and if the performance is considered unsatisfactory, the unsatisfactory performance is to be managed through the unsatisfactory performance processes as outlined in the Unsatisfactory Performance Clause of the current JCU Enterprise Agreement 2010.

5.2 Withholding of an Increment

Where performance is below standard and incremental progression is withheld, the employee is ineligible for another opportunity for incremental progression until the satisfactory completion of the next review cycle.

6. Grievance Resolution

Should any employee believe they are being subjected to disadvantage or discriminated against through the incorrect application of the reward and recognition procedures, they may refer their grievance forward in accordance with the relevant policy or under the Grievance Resolution Clause of the current JCU Enterprise Agreement 2010.

Related Documents, Legislation or JCU Statutes

Academic Promotions Policy

Performance Management Policy

JCU Enterprise Agreement 2010

Approval Details

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval authority:

Human Resources Committee

Approval date:


Version no:


Date for next review:


Modification History


Approval date

Implementation Date



16-0114/12/201622/12/2016Policy review date extended to 31/12/17 on request by Assoc Director HR. Approved by DVC SR

Quality, Standards and Policy




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date













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