Discretionary Star Performer Bonus Program

Discontinued 7/1/2021: Discretionary Star Performer Bonus Program
Approved by
Date Approved:
Effective Date: 06/03/2019
Responsible Official: Vice President of Human Resources
Responsible University Office: HR Compensation Office
Revision History: N/A
Related Legislation and University policies
Review Period: 5 years
Date of Last Review
Relates to: executive staff, senior staff, and staff
Exclusions: none

Policy Statement

Rewarding and retaining key talent is an important strategy of the university’s compensation philosophy. The Discretionary Star Performer Bonus Program is designed to recognize and reward key talent to the university.

The program is designed to deliver financial rewards to employees who demonstrate exemplary service, exceed performance expectations, and/or contribute to organizational success by means of their unique and critical skills. The Star Performer Bonus is presented as a one-time, lump-sum payment to the employee. Awards paid under this program are not part of the employee’s base salary. Employee is eligible for one bonus per fiscal year.

The objective of the discretionary star performer bonus program is to provide timely rewards that recognize and acknowledge short-term contributions made by employees for the benefit of the department, school, or overall university. It is designed to complement the current compensation program.

To maximize the unique significance and exclusive meaning of a star performer bonus, the award is a one-time achievement. Accomplishing one’s annual performance objectives or “doing a great job”, while certainly commendable, are not examples of the exceptional achievement that should be rewarded with a star performer bonus. In general, the achievement should be a discrete action, or series of actions over a finite period of time that demonstrates a special situation that rises significantly above the norm (exemplary performance, achievement, invention, special act, or service) that exceeds usual work requirements). For example, the employee:

  • Devised new or improved methods that save manpower, space, materials, equipment, or other cost items. 
  • Contributed to outstanding economy, efficiency, added income, or measurably improved service to the public. 
  • Risked life or personal safety in an act of heroism. 
  • Maintained work schedule in absence of supervisor or meet unusual demands of higher level duties on one’s own initiative. 

The star performer bonus amount must be proportional to the employee’s salary, and generally does not exceed 5% of the employee’s current annual salary.