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Using ‘POP Bucks’ To Demonstrate Appreciation For DSPs  

Submitted By: Mandy Hubbard, Director of Operations, People of Potential, Inc.

We here at People of Potential, Inc. (POP) make it a priority to ensure our staff feel appreciated. Along with a number of programs, one initiative is what we call POP Bucks – artificial money that we give as rewards or as a thank you throughout the year. In December, we then host an auction for all kinds of items such as TVs, computers, extra paid time off (PTO), and so much more. The staff use their POP Bucks at this auction to purchase items. We have been using this model for 5 years and it is loved by everyone. 

“The fact that POP takes the time to ask us what we want, purchase it, and plan such amazing parties is something very special. The management team goes the extra mile to ensure we all have the evening off and can come enjoy in the festivities. The auction is such a blast and gets competitive like a real auction.”

Tory Parks, POP employee 

Because of this program, the company has experienced a great increase in staff retention and morale. POP Bucks have truly improved the overall environment and is a great motivational tool for staff. DSPs have reported that this program is something they enjoy and makes them feel valued. We also provide them with a huge appreciation party where everyone dresses up. All staff love it! 

Implementing A Similar ‘POP Bucks’ Program

POP Bucks is an easy program to implement. We make our own fake money and all managers have the ability to give out the POP Bucks for anything they deem worthwhile. The important part is sticking to it and ensuring that the upper management pass out the POP Bucks to the staff on a regular basis, either throughout the year or at least quarterly. 

“This is the first place that I have ever worked that has a program like this. I got a 70-inch flat screen TV last year!!! The management ensures that all staff walk away with at least one item as well.” 

Jacob Hubbard, POP employee

For the auction, we shop during the year for auction items that staff would like or need. We attempt to stay on trend with what the staff like and include them in identifying what’s important to them. We ask questions and solicit involvement from all angles to keep the program interesting and alive. We have found that it works best to hold the event once a year, so that the anticipation helps build excitement and keep the ‘wow factor.’ 

About People Of Potential, Inc. 

The mission of People of Potential, Inc., Inc. is to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment in which the person served feels important and respected. We are committed to providing the highest quality of care in the least restrictive environment with opportunities to learn, experience, and participate in community activities.

“Our auctions are a fun way to come together as a company, have a good time, and bid on many awesome items. Last year I bid on a fit bit and yoga mat, and it has definitely helped me focus on my health and meditate before work.” 

Maria Villiarreal, POP employee 

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Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.