Professional and Leadership Development Award (PLDA)

Celebrating Missouri’s top team members by investing in their professional development. 

The PLDA is a new $7 million dollar professional development program initiated in fiscal year 2023. This new rewards and recognition program was advocated for by State Team members through Missouri’s organizational health survey, formally known as QPS (Quarterly Pulse Survey). State team members advocated for more professional development opportunities and their voice was heard through this new program. 

The PLDA is designed to reward and recognize the top performers amongst State team members. Using ENGAGE as the foundation for this funding, PLDA serves as an opportunity to highlight the amazing work of State team members, celebrate top performers and further invest in the State team member experience. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the Professional and Leadership Development Award?

PLDA is a professional development opportunity for a team member to invest $1,500 into their own professional development over the course of a year.

Who selects the top 10% of team members within each department?

Each Department leadership team will use ENGAGE data as a baseline to make this decision. We strongly encourage departments to be transparent in their decision-making process with all team members.

Can a team member receive funds more than once?

A team member can only receive the Professional and Leadership Development Award once during the same fiscal year. Funding for PLDA first became available for the 2023 fiscal year. 

How was funding allocated by Department?

The total appropriation was allocated to departments based on 10% of actual FY21 FTE of .5 or greater.

How long do I need to work for my department to be eligible?

Team members receiving an evaluation during the September 2022 Evaluation/Upward Feedback period are eligible for the Professional and Leadership Development Award. All team members, except the following, should receive an evaluation

1) an hourly employee,

2) a new employee (employed less than 4 weeks), or

3) have been on an extended leave of absence.

Why was I not selected for receive the PLDA?

ENGAGE data serves as the basis of the department PLDA decision making process. Your supervisor should have a brief conversation regarding your evaluation after each evaluation/upward feedback period. If you have a concern you believe you cannot discuss with your supervisor, you may direct your concern to your HR representative.

Want to learn more about ENGAGE? Reach out to your Change Champion or visit the ENGAGE site to view the FAQs. 

What counts as professional development?

Each Department will determine the activities, items, etc., for which the Professional and Leadership Development Award can be spent. Please consult your HR representative regarding these stipulations.

What is the process for receiving these funds?

Each Department will determine the administrative procedure for processing the PLDA. Each Department should make every effort to directly pay for a team member’s professional development opportunity.