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36 "Gold Driver." All of the awards are presented in public at Organizational Approach to Safety the Hennepin County Commission meetings. UTA's mission statement summarizes the organization's approach to safety and its commitment to employees and Summary customers: "UTA strengthens and connects communities, enabling individuals to pursue fuller lives with greater ease SouthWest Transit definitely believes that its Driver Incen- and convenience by leading in partnering, planning, and wise tive Plan is helping it meet its safety goals outlined in the investment of physical, economic and human resources." agency's strategic plan. Based on the data reported, a pattern appears to have emerged that validates the agency's belief UTA's operational structure includes five (regional) busi- that reward programs are effective tools to improve safety. ness units, four that operate bus and rail service and the fifth providing paratransit service. UTA's organic approach to In addition to having a proactive and unique safety reward organizational safety and service requires each business unit program, SouthWest transit also has implemented a few addi- to be responsible for maintaining safety and reporting stan- tional policies which contribute to the organization's safety dards. Each business unit has a dedicated regional general and service programs. It is SouthWest Transit's policy and manager, operations manager, and maintenance manager. mission that all customer complaints be investigated within Safety committee meetings are held bi-monthly and issues 24 hours of receipt. followed up immediately. A member of UTA's union par- ticipates in safety meetings. Although SouthWest Transit has up to nine surveillance cameras in each bus, the video footage is not reviewed unless Table 7 provides data on UTA's miles driven, number of a customer or employee complaint is filed or an incident passengers, chargeable accidents, and vehicle breakdowns occurs. SouthWest Transit's management does not notify the over the past three years. employee that camera footage is being retrieved unless the investigation identifies that corrective action is necessary. This distinctive measure avoids unnecessary inquiries of Agency Disciplinary Practices operators on company time and also avoids upsetting opera- tors for unfounded claims. The purpose of UTA's accident policy is to emphasize the importance of safe operations, defensive driving skills, and re-training. It classifies accidents based on their severity and Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, Utah the corresponding consequences. Through consistent imple- mentation, UTA's policies support its goal of transitioning Agency Description employees involved in vehicular accidents or incidents back to a productive, safe work status while not diminishing the UTA is located in Salt Lake City, with business units in Salt excellent safe driving record established over many years by Lake City, Provo, and Ogden. The system is characterized as UTA employees. urban, suburban, regional, and rural, providing fixed-route, paratransit, light rail/streetcar, bus rapid transit, and com- UTA's accident classification schedule categorizes the muter rail to four million passengers annually. UTA is a severity of an accident from 1 to 4 based on total damages and government special service district overseen by a board of personal injury costs, as well as number of occurrences. Dis- trustees. It serves the residents of Salt Lake, Weber, and Davis cipline is imposed in a progressive manner. The only excep- counties and select cities within Utah, Box Elder, and Tooele tion is if a preventable accident's total damages and personal counties. UTA's nonadministrative personnel are unionized injury costs exceed $10,000, in which case, employees may (see Table 7). be subject to immediate termination. Table 7 UTA Transit Statistics 2008 2009 2010 Miles Driven 4,063,039 4,890,041 3,798,187 Passengers 3,453,594 3,334,062 3,381,634 Accidents per 100,000 Miles 0.95 1.05 0.96 Vehicle Breakdowns/Miles 12,387 10,230 9,764 Between Events
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37 Agency Incentive/Rewards Program deposited slips. Both the employee who wrote the slip and the one being recognized receive an award if their slip is drawn. The Ogden Business Unit at UTA has seven incentive reward programs: Rising Star, Perfect Attendance, On the Spot, Peer There are no limitations on what actions can be recognized to Peer (P2P), Golden Snitch Award, Road Call Achievement or how many times an employee can be recognized in the Recognition and Reward, and the Complaint Reduction Pro- month. gram. UTA reported that the initial start-up cost for its incen- tive rewards programs was $10,000 (in 2009), but that since The Golden Snitch Award allows any maintenance depart- then the program's budget has been approximately $3,000. ment employee to recognize the outstanding accomplishments The reward program budget is included in the agency's oper- of other employees, whether in the maintenance department ating budget. or elsewhere in UTA. Rising Star was developed as a way to recognize both short- The Road Call Achievement Recognition and Reward pro- term and long-term improvement in employee performance. motes teamwork and unity among maintenance employees by Recipients are chosen at the supervisor's discretion based on rewarding improvements in increasing the number of miles job performance. To be considered for this award, an employee between road calls. is required to demonstrate significant improvement in a spe- cific area such as business unit goals and objectives, reliability, Managers and supervisors in the maintenance depart- attendance, attitude, accident prevention, complaint preven- ment determine, on a semi-annual basis, goals for the aver- tion, policy adherence, and driving habits. age number of miles between road calls. (UTA's current goal is 10,000 miles between calls). When the monthly road Each supervisor is responsible for selecting a Rising Star call goal is met or surpassed, rewards are provided to the candidate by the seventh day of each month. If no team mem- maintenance workers ranging from a snack/refreshment to bers meet the criteria, the supervisor is not required to submit a full lunch. a candidate for consideration. The recognition and rewards team leader is responsible for obtaining gift cards and post- ing recipient names on the Rising Star bulletin board in the If the goal is met or surpassed for three months in a row, operator lounge. a steak lunch will be provided. If this level continues for another three months (a total of six months) a prime rib lunch Perfect Attendance rewards employees who have had no will be provided. If the road call level drops below the miles short notice events or sick days and no miss-outs or late reports between road call goal, the cycle starts over. Rewards and in a calendar year. Employees who earn Perfect Attendance levels of achievement are reviewed on a semi-annual basis. rewards receive $5 gift cards in addition to a certificate and pin. Complaint Reduction is an incentive program to reduce On the Spot rewards immediately reinforce positive behav- the number of customer complaints received in each business iors within the business unit and develop a culture where unit. Rewards for the reduction of complaints are based on employees are recognized, valued, and rewarded. Any posi- the unit's goal. The current goal is four complaints per opera- tive behavior, action, or attitude can qualify for this recogni- tor per year. Eligible operators may not have received more tion. "You've been spotted" stickers as well as "On the Spot" than one complaint per quarter. comment slips are assigned for basic recognition. Tangible rewards ranging from candy or gum up through three tiers Supervisors are monitored on a monthly basis to ensure par- of progressively valued rewards are available to recognize ticipation in UTA's employee recognition programs. Recogni- higher levels of achievement. tion and rewards metrics are submitted to the business unit's leadership teams for monthly review. Peer to Peer (P2P) rewards promote mutual support between coworkers by recognizing positive behaviors, actions, and In addition to UTA's reward and incentive programs, the attitudes. organization maintains an extensive health and wellness pro- gram that is free to employees. The contracted health and An employee who notices a coworker's positive perfor- wellness program, called Participation Activity Commitment mance can fill out a P2P slip (available throughout the busi- Evaluation, offers the employees regular health and risk man- ness unit) and personally deliver the slip to the employee agement services customized for each employee. Full fitness or leave it in his/her mailbox. A third (and least preferred) testing (cardio, height, weight, and blood pressure) and coun- option is to deposit the slip in the drawing box. seling is offered annually, and each business unit has a fully equipped exercise gym that is available to UTA employees Recipients of a P2P slip have the option of placing the slip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wellness consultants and over- in a designated box located in the maintenance office coordi- the-counter medications are available to employees on site. nator's office or on the operator counter in the operations train Employees who participate in quarterly health challenges room. At the end of each month, a drawing is held from the receive deposits in their health reimbursement saving accounts.