By Mr. David Mcnally (RDECOM)March 26, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Across U.S. Forces Korea, more civilian employees are entering the National Security Personnel System. The new "pay-for-performance" system was designed as a replacement to the old civil service system.
The new pay system requires a Garrison pay panel to evaluate and rate each NSPS employee's performance at the end of the year. The results of the panel are recommendations to the pay pool manager for how much, if any, salary increase and bonus will be paid out to the employee. U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan has about 50 civilian employees who entered NSPS Nov. 11, 2007.
"Our goal is fair and equitable treatment of all employees in distinguishing among levels of performance and pay," said Kenneth Stark, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center chief.
Members of the Garrison pay pool, along with 18th Medical Command, AFN Korea, USFK and 8th U.S. Army managers, met at Dragon Hill Lodge March 13-14 for extensive training on pay pool structure, rules and roles.
"NSPS employees need to keep track of their accomplishments throughout the rating cycle," said Carrie Wiggins, Area II Civilian Personnel Advisory Center lead NSPS specialist, and instructor for the training. "Under this pay system, it is critical for employees to write self assessments for the interim review and the annual review."
Wiggins said the self assessment is not mandatory, but not submitting one may reflect on the NSPS employee's final payout.
"We had some really good training," said USAG-Yongsan Pay Pool Manager Don Moses. Moses is also the deputy garrison commander. "The key will be to have a successful 'mock' pay pool."
A mock pay pool allows pay pool members to review self assessments and supervisor's ratings in a practice panel. Panel members vote as they would during an actual pay pool and get an opportunity to see how the process will work.
The garrison pay pool members are the directors of Human Resources; Logistics; Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and the chiefs of Public Affairs and Safety.
"Because this is a new process, this could be time-intensive," Wiggins said. "For 50 employees, the pay pool may have to be sequestered for a up to a week."
Wiggins said each NSPS employee's rating will be reviewed by the pay pool against a set of performance indicators.
Moses said he wants Garrison NSPS employees to take all available online training, like NSPS 101 and the iSuccess course.
"It is vital that everyone understands the implications of the new pay system," he said. "Supervisors and employees need to communicate about their smart objectives and what progress is being made toward their successful completion."
Smart objectives are the agreed-upon standards linked to an employee's organizational mission. The objectives are "results-focused." The CPAC will offer classes on writing smart objectives April 18 and May 29.
Pay pool members must complete NSPS supervisor and pay pool management training. Members also sign nondisclosure agreements. All pay pool proceedings are confidential. The pay pool manager has the authority to override panel recommendations. The NSPS employee has the right to appeal their performance rating to the Performance Review Authority. Under USAG-Yongsan rules, the PRA is the garrison commander.
"We're keeping our NSPS employees informed and educated," said Garrison Pay Pool Administrator Bob Clifton.
Clifton said the garrison panel will meet mid-May to conduct a mock pay pool. The actual pay pool will conduct panel meetings Nov. 17-21 resulting in the first USAG-Yongsan payout for performance Jan. 6, 2009.