Original Date: 10/10/2005
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Technical Honors Program
Raytheon established the Technical Honors Program to formally recognize exceptional engineering individual contributions across Raytheon. Honorees receive cash awards, a plaque, an annual stipend to reimburse technical society dues or reference materials, and are publicly recognized with their photographs displayed in local facilities, in company newsletters and on the Raytheon website, and at an Honoree Recognition Dinner. The Technical Honors Program stands out from most other employee recognition systems in that honorees are rated only by their peers, with honors recognition effective for three years or until the employee’s next salary promotion date, whichever comes first. This program promotes and encourages a pool of technical candidates for leadership roles and further establishes the company’s positive image within the technical workforce.
Raytheon initiated the Technical Honors Program in 1999 to formally recognize exceptional engineering individual contributors across Raytheon and to reward individuals making continued, outstanding technical contributions. The Technical Honors Program is distinct from other employee recognition systems in that it is a peer-driven annual selection process. Eligible candidates include senior engineers and senior principal engineers from multiple technical functions such as Manufacturing Engineering, Performance Excellence, Facilities, and Test Engineering. Candidates are eligible for honors 12 months following a salary grade promotion, initial hire, or rehire. Managers, new hires and junior engineers are not eligible to participate in this program, which focuses on experienced engineers who are making substantial contributions to the company. Eligible candidates are rated by peers who use an on-line rating tool to assess three areas that include:
Demonstrated technical skills Leadership
Contribution to enterprise success
Criteria for these areas are provided and related to numerical ratings ranging from a minimum contribution of one to a maximum contribution of ten. Managers are specifically excluded from rating employees. Voting occurs over a web-based application during the entire month of August. The peer scores are evaluated by selection committees that are formed primarily from individuals representing a diverse cross section of the organization, including Technical Honors recipients. Selection is based primarily on the results of peer ratings and may include information to discriminate between close rating results, input for individuals on low visibility assignments, or inputs from Human Resources. Honorees are announced and recognized at an Honoree Dinner; receive cash awards, annual stipends, and plaques; and are pictured in local facilities, in the Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) Newsletter, and on the IDS website. Honorees hold this rating for up to three successive years or until they are promoted to the next pay grade. The program keeps the honor distinct by limiting it to no more than 20% of the eligible population.
Through 2004, there were 521 honorees in IDS and 42 at the Andover Integrated Air Defense Center (IADC). Yearly honorees are announced in October of each year. As a percentage of the population, honorees have increased from 6.2% in 2001 to 15.4% in 2005. The Technical Honors Program has improved management visibility of key technical talent and has facilitated assigning the best people to key programs, strategic teams, and project review teams – establishing identifiable role models and mentors and providing technical recognition across Raytheon.
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