Rewarding performance encourages excellence

By John Larrabee
Contributing Writer
Over the past 20 years, the performance bonus has disappeared at many companies. More

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Rewarding performance encourages excellence

SHARING THE GAIN: Provider Insurance has a profit-sharing plan, which helps employees - seen here at the annual meeting - feel vested in the agency's success. PHOTO COURTESY PROVIDER INSURANCE
By John Larrabee
Contributing Writer
Posted 6/13/11

Over the past 20 years, the performance bonus has disappeared at many companies.

But not at Provider Insurance Group, a broad-lines agency with offices in Needham, Mass., and Woonsocket. Each year almost every employee receives an extra check that could be as big as a month’s pay. The only exceptions to the policy are salespeople, who instead earn commissions, and the company owners.

And to assure employees that the incentives are awarded fairly, the company has recently adopted a new policy for evaluations.

“Employees are given all the goals and information upfront, and meet with managers quarterly to discuss where they are,” said Jessica Sullivan, the company’s human resources manager. “They know what is going well and what needs to improve and how to do so. Employees have more control over the outcome, and strong performers are rewarded appropriately.”

That’s not the only financial incentive Provider offers employees. The company also has a profit-sharing plan. The award is not guaranteed, and amount depends on year-end financials, but there is a potential for everyone to bring home a bit more bacon. Sullivan says the policy lets employees know they are vested in the company’s success.

Rewards are also handed out at the annual summer outing. Employees who’ve reached a milestone anniversary date receive a certificate and check that could range from $100 to $2,000. And this year the company added something new: a $500 staff excellence award, given to an employee who has been nominated by co-workers.

Company executives strive to have easy communications with employees. The CEO has an open-door policy, and he frequently walks through the offices to talk with employees. •

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