Policy Number: 1.21 - Employee Suggestion Program
Application: Full-time and part-time classified, faculty, and hourly wage employees.
This policy establishes a statewide program to encourage employees to make suggestions for improving state government operations by saving money, making operations more efficient or effective, increasing revenue, or improving safety; to assess the potential value of the suggestions; and to reward employees whose suggestions are approved for implementation.
|Agency ESP Coordinator||An employee designated by the agency head to facilitate and promote the Employee Suggestion Program (ESP) in that agency, to serve as liaison with the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM), and to forward suggestions to an appropriate evaluator when they are received by that agency for evaluation.|
|Awards||Cash payments, days of paid leave, and/or certificates of recognition given to employees by agencies for suggestions adopted because they have identifiable value to one or more agencies and/or to state government generally.|
|DHRM ESP Manager||The employee in the Department of Human Resource Management responsible for administering the ESP statewide.|
|Eligible Employee||Full- and part-time employees, including hourly wage and faculty employees, of all executive branch agencies, and of any other agencies of state government that have elected to participate in the program. Eligible employees may submit suggestions and are eligible for a certificate, cash, or paid leave, except that wage employees are not eligible for paid leave time. Employees who leave state service before an award is made remain eligible for a certificate and/or cash award for one year from the date of final disposition.|
|ESP Procedures Manual||A procedural guide to the Employee Suggestion Program for Agency ESP Coordinators and employees.|
|Evaluation||The analysis of a suggestion that documents the feasibility and merit of its adoption, including expected savings or revenue increases, or reasons for non-adoption. See Suggestion Evaluation Form.|
|Evaluator||The employee to whom a suggestion is referred for evaluation because of his or her expertise in the subject matter of the suggestion and knowledge of related agency and state operations.|
|Incurred Costs||The costs incurred in implementing a suggestion and netted out of any savings or increased revenues produced by the suggestion, when stating expected or actual savings or revenue gains.|
|Management Reviewer||The supervisor or manager of the evaluator’s unit/division who is qualified to review and support or reject the evaluator’s assessment of a suggestion.|
|Net Revenue or Net Savings||The dollar amount generated or saved by an adopted suggestion during its first year of implementation, adjusted for any cost incurred in implementing. Cash awards are based on this figure.|
|Suggestion||A proposal made by an eligible state employee on the Employee Suggestion Form that may produce the following results in one or more state agencies: increased productivity, reduction in expenditures, increased revenues, improved quality of services, or enhanced operational safety.|
|Agency Participation||All Executive Branch agencies shall participate in the Employee Suggestion Program. State agencies not in the Executive Branch may elect to participate.
Participating agencies shall:
|Submitting Suggestions||Employees will submit their suggestions to the Employee Suggestion Program at the Department of Human Resource Management. The suggestion form is available at the ESP web site, http://esp.dhrm.virginia.gov; it may be completed and submitted through the web. The form may also be found in the ESP Procedures Manual, Appendix I, and may be submitted by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or sent in hard copy to DHRM.|
|Tracking Suggestions||Suggestions receive a number when submitted. This number identifies the suggestion throughout the evaluation process. Every attempt will be made to ensure the anonymity of the suggester until the suggestion is approved for adoption.|
|Employees Eligible for Award||
All full-time classified, part-time classified, faculty, and wage employees in participating agencies may be eligible for award, and their suggestions remain eligible for one year from the date of final disposition of the suggestion. A suggester’s eligibility for award is based on his or her employment status at the time the suggestion is received by DHRM.
|Suggestion Eligibility||Suggestions are eligible for award consideration when their implementation causes activity related to the suggestion which results in savings (including cost avoidance) or increased revenue, or when operational, service, or safety improvements occur. Suggestions may be implemented in the employee’s own agency and/or in one or more other agencies.
Suggestions may be ineligible for award consideration for several reasons. For example, a suggestion is ineligible for award when an employee can be expected to implement it as part of his or her job duties, responsibilities and assigned tasks, or can implement it without higher level approval. Additional criteria for suggestion eligibility are described in detail in the ESP Procedures Manual.
Determination of eligibility is made by DHRM with input from the employee, the employee’s agency, or other agencies, as needed.
|Evaluator Qualifications and Role||
When a suggestion is received from DHRM for evaluation, the Agency ESP Coordinator should select an employee who possesses knowledge of the suggestion’s subject matter and of agency/state operations. The evaluator should be sufficiently qualified to consider the following:
The evaluator is expected to consult with appropriate agency fiscal personnel to develop cost, revenue, and/or savings information.
|Group or Duplicate Awards||If two or more employees individually submit similar suggestions that are received at the same time, the suggestions will be evaluated together, and any awards will be divided equally among all eligible suggesters. Two or more employees may join to submit suggestions as a group. Any award will be shared equally among eligible group members, except that paid leave is awarded in increments of no less than four (4) hours.|
|Patents and Copyrights||Patents and copyrights, or materials that are potentially eligible for patent or copyright, that are developed within the scope of an employee’s job or when using state-owned or state-controlled facilities shall be the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia. (This provision does not apply to employees of state-supported institutions of higher education who are subject to intellectual property policies of their institutions.)|
|Use of Suggestion||The state shall have the right to make full use of suggestions submitted by employees to the ESP. The use of employee suggestions by the state shall not be the basis of further claims of any kind by the suggester or the suggester’s heirs or assigns.|
|Awards of Cash||Awards of cash are authorized only for eligible employees whose ideas
|Funding of Cash Awards||Cash awards are to be made to suggesters by implementing agencies from savings and/or revenue actually generated in the first year of implementation of the suggestions. If all anticipated savings/revenues are generated within the first year, the calculation and award may occur at that time and before the full year has elapsed. Agencies are responsible for identifying the source (program) of savings or increased revenues and for paying cash awards from that program. See ESP Procedures Manual for payment processing information.|
|Calculation of Award as Percentage of Savings or Revenue||
Cash awards shall be computed as a percentage of net savings or revenue as outlined below.
|Eligible classified employees may receive non-cash awards of one to five days of paid leave for suggestions that result in significantly improved processes, programs, services, or safety, for which benefits are not quantifiable.|
|Factors Used to
Evaluators are to use the following six factors in estimating the point value of a suggestion:
|ESP Leave||ESP leave days are managed in the same way as compensatory leave (see Policy 3.10, Compensatory Leave). ESP leave not taken within 12 months will be forfeited. Active ESP leave balances will be paid when the employee leaves state service.|
|Wage Employees||Wage employees whose suggestions are adopted may not receive paid leave. Agencies are encouraged to recognize them in other
appropriate ways, including non-monetary awards through the agency’s Recognition Program. See Policy 1.20, Employee Recognition Programs.
|CERTIFICATES OF RECOGNITION|
|DHRM will coordinate the process for obtaining a certificate of recognition signed by the Director of DHRM and the Governor, and will send this to the employee’s agency for signature by that agency head and for appropriate presentation to the employee.|
The Department of Human Resource Management is responsible for:
DHRM will manage the program by:
DHRM will maintain a list of Agency ESP Coordinators and will communicate with them on program matters.
Suggesters may appeal determinations of non-eligibility and decisions not to adopt their suggestions to DHRM. An informal re-evaluation process may be offered and, if acceptable, will be conducted. If the suggester does not agree to this process or is not satisfied with the results, DHRM will assemble a group of individuals suitable to the needs of the specific suggestion, ensuring representation of the private sector as required by Va. Code §2.2-1201 (12). This group will conduct any research needed, consider the issues, and render a final decision on the suggestions
Suggesters may also appeal to have a suggestion re-considered if they believe that the idea was implemented within one year after receiving the non-adoption notice.
All appeals should be presented to DHRM in writing and in a timely manner.
Agency heads in executive branch agencies and other participating agencies are responsible for ensuring that their agencies comply with the policies and procedures of the ESP as found in this policy and in the ESP Procedures Manual. Key responsibilities include:
The Department of Human Resource Management issues this policy pursuant to the authority provided in Va. Code § 2.2-1201.
The Director of the Department of Human Resource Management is responsible for official interpretation of this policy, in accordance with section Va. Code § 2.2-1201 (12).
Questions regarding the application of this policy should be
directed to the Department of Human Resource Management's Office of Agency Human Resource Services.