As the not-for-profit Maryland Environmental Service (MES) marks its 50th year in operation, hundreds of its employees will share in the largest performance incentive compensation distribution ever awarded, under a proposal to give funds earlier than normal to MES’ employees during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Through MES’ performance incentive program—BEST (Building Excellence and Success Together)—incentive compensation may be awarded based on how the organization performs overall across a range of business metrics.
Nearly two-thirds of MES’ 850 employees are considered “essential,” and they continue reporting to worksites across Maryland and the region, where they keep critical environmental infrastructure and projects operating. Key among these are water and wastewater operations for 228 local cities and towns, as well as solid waste management and recycling services for some of the largest communities in the Baltimore-Washington area, including Montgomery, Prince George’s and Harford counties.
In its response to the coronavirus crisis, MES has implemented enhanced safety measures to help keep its employees safe, including temporarily shuttering its Millersville headquarters complex. Most of the 250 employees who work there have been teleworking since March 13.
“Not only has the coronavirus created critical health concerns, it is creating financial hardships and anxiety in many families, too. We are taking this proactive, unprecedented step to help provide some added peace of mind for our teammates,” said MES CEO Roy McGrath in a statement. “By moving up the timing and size of this well-deserved performance compensation, funds will be in our teammates’ hands now, when some may need it most. Hopefully, this measure provides added comfort in a very challenging, even scary, time.”
“Businesses instinctively hunker down and tighten up during uncertainties like these,” he added. “I hope to encourage others who’ve had strong financial results this past year to share some extra support now with their teams if they can. It may turn out to mean more to them and their communities than we can imagine.”
Pending approval in April by its board, MES anticipates immediately distributing a $3,000 payment to each eligible teammate among its 850-employee workforce. MES’ executive staff are not eligible for this award. The program award amount has more than doubled, as business boomed recently at the environmental services organization, which achieved record sales and 28 percent revenue growth in 2019.