Northeastern Tech’s KPI Bonus Program Is a Win-Win-Win for the College, Students and Employees

2020 Higher Education HR Awards

Northeastern Technical College’s Human Resources Team is the recipient of CUPA-HR’s 2020 HR Innovation Award.

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Over the past few years, Northeastern Technical College’s student population has grown exponentially — from around 900 in 2017 to more than 2,000 this year. This growth has required thinking differently about how staff and faculty contribute to student success and the success of the college. Centered around rewards and recognition, HR at Northeastern Tech created a program through which all full-time employees have the opportunity to positively impact student success, support the college’s mission and goals, grow and learn professionally, and earn bonus pay for their efforts.

“The KPI program has instilled a new sense of urgency, ownership and accountability in faculty and staff, as it ties their work directly to student and college success and allows them to have buy-in and ‘skin in the game.’” – Christi Meggs, Director of HR at Northeastern Technical College

A Consistent and Comprehensive Approach to Work

The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) program is centered around six overarching goals: an enrollment goal; a student persistence goal; two employee- or department-specific goals; a professional development goal; and a community involvement goal. Employees work toward these goals throughout the year and earn $250 in bonus pay per goal met, allowing employees to earn up to $1,500 in bonus pay annually.

“Through the KPI program, we have been able to create some consistency and clarity around the common goals toward which we’re all working,” says Northeastern Tech HR Director Christi Meggs. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work and lose sight of the bigger picture, but having that reminder that we’re all working toward the same thing, even if we’re doing it in our own unique way, helps bring our focus back to student success as our bottom line.”

Tangible Results

Since implementation of the KPI program in August 2019, Northeastern Tech has seen increased enrollment (spring 2020 enrollment was 24 percent higher than spring 2019 enrollment); increased student retention rates; and increased class section capacity. Also noteworthy is that many faculty members, as part of their KPI goals, are transitioning to open education resources (OER) for their classes. More than half of all courses at the college are currently using OER (more than 90 percent of arts and sciences courses use OER), which represents a cost savings to students. Without the cost of textbooks, Northeastern Tech students could take, on average, an additional three to eight credit hours per semester.

Through KPI goal setting, Northeastern Tech employees are taking a new look at their processes, procedures and desired outcomes and are thinking differently about the work they perform. Says Meggs, “Across the organization, we’re seeing enhanced communication, collaboration and data-driven decision-making.”


About the HR Innovation Award:
CUPA-HR’s HR Innovation Award recognizes innovate thinking in higher education human resources. Thanks to support from PageUp, the award comes with a $5,000 contribution to the recipient’s institutional endowment or a scholarship fund. Learn more.