Our son is nonverbal, but by his body language, we gather that he is proud, happy, he feels accepted and important, and that he belongs to an extended family – Rimland. Rimland nurtures his self-esteem, structures his daily activities, and installs goals. He used to be crabby, but now we often see him smile.

— The Crisostomos Family
Staff News: Relias Conference Update

Michael presents to the conference

In October, we reported that Associate Executive Directors Tammie McClendon and Michael Christopher recently attended a Relias (healthcare learning and training organization) conference where they were invited to speak about Rimland’s unique merit-based pay (MPB) structure and how this innovative process helps us to recruit and retain excellent direct service professionals.

We’d like to share more about their experience at the conference, along with details about Rimland’s pay system. Michael and Tammie attended sessions on Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD), culture, best practices for staff retention and supervision, and more.

At the conference

They presented about Rimland’s merit pay system. Michael spoke to RimlandNews about the talk. “We presented on what a merit pay system is and how other places use it,” he explained. “We showed them our structure and our format for it. Our system rewards our staff for the work that they do. They can see a difference in their pay every month as long as they follow the criteria.  They no longer have to wait a year or longer for a work evaluation.”

Some highlights from their presentation include:

  • MPB payment model offers financial incentives for meeting certain performance measures.
  • MBP helps employers to differentiate between the performance of high and low performing employees and reward the performance of the higher performers.
  • MPB Improves competitiveness and staff can take ownership of their work.
  • MBP helps to bring in new employees and retain employees. It puts a real value on the DSP’s worth. DSPs are Rimland’s backbone!

“Currently, I believe we are the only ones that have this system,” Michael continued.  “Other places just give employees raises after their evaluation, if at all. Our way is better, because staff have full responsibility of deciding what their pay will be, not us.“

Michael and Tammie reported that the attendees were very engaged in the session. Several agencies are now considering following Rimland’s lead and switching to a merit pay structure. Michael and Tammie were asked to speak at the conference again next year. Congratulations, Michael and Tammie!

Michael Christopher