EDITORIAL: Suggestion box program needs fine tuningThe New Richmond City Council are asking the right questions concerning a proposed “Employee Suggestion Program.”
The New Richmond City Council are asking the right questions concerning a proposed “Employee Suggestion Program.”
At Monday’s regular meeting, the council balked at an uncapped incentive payment for employees who offer ideas that end up saving taxpayer money. An open-ended program could lead to a significant payout of city cash and some elected officials were uncomfortable with that thought. We would agree.
Not that anyone thinks new ideas for saving money are a bad thing. Anything that makes local government more cost effective should be welcomed by all.
But most taxpayers would expect that their publically-supported employees are sharing such ideas on a regular basis, as part of their normal job duties. Even if a money-saving suggestion is made outside of one’s department, some might wonder if that should automatically qualify a person for an additional bonus.
We would concur with council members who thought a cap of $1,000 on bonus payments would be prudent. That way, suggestions for improved efficiency and effectiveness would be encouraged but would complain about any excessive bonuses. Anyone would welcome the chance for an extra $1,000.
Another option could be the establishment of an annual “employee suggestion box” contest. A committee of elected officials and department heads could look over all the implemented suggestions from each year and award a special certificate and bonus payment to the top three around Christmas. That might be an effective incentive as well.
New Richmond is blessed with a cadre of public employees who have been good stewards of taxpayer money in the past. There’s no reason to believe they won’t continue that tradition for years to come.
A simple, inexpensive incentive program makes sense to get the idea juices freely flowing.