We frequently talk about inspiration, rewards and recognition, and valuing your staff, and Kentucky State University’s interim President Raymond Burse takes it very seriously. He learned and deemed it unacceptable that KSU had some employees making less than $10.25 per hour, and some as little as $7.25.

Burse asked his chief financial officer the cost for increasing salaries and was informed the cost would be $90,125. Instead of increasing the school’s payroll, he volunteered to reduce his own salary by 25%, and use that to bring the lower salaried employees to the hourly minimum wage of $10.25.

Burse shared:

You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people. This is something I’ve been thinking about from the very beginning.

His original salary was $349,869 and has been reduced to $259,745

Burse admittedly has high expectations and demands for his staff. He says “I thought that if I’m going to ask them to really be committed and give this institution their all, I should be doing something in return,” Burse says. “I thought it was important.”

President Burse also plans to conduct a culture survey to learn what his staff, faculty, and students are thinking. He believes this is important in order to know what’s working and what is not, and those results will be used as input for his overall strategic plan.

An extract from a blogger stated: “Now THAT is leadership – and character.” No arguments here!

There aren’t too many of us that are in the position to take a pay cut, especially a very significant one, but we are in the position to inspire, solicit input, and consistently recognize accomplishments.

Do you make valuing your staff a priority? What do you do to reward and recognize them?

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Last week’s tip focused on Growth, Change, and Stress.

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