6070 Employee Suggestion Program

  • The board encourages staff to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of district operations.  The Yelm Community Schools Employee Suggestion Program is established as a means of encouraging employees to take an active role in helping improve public educational efficiency.  The Employee Suggestion Program is meant to encourage employee innovation and creativity, create a process for communicating employee ideas for improving the Yelm district operations, and provide the means to recognize and reward employees whose ideas result in operational improvements.  Administrative procedures have been established to assure the operational value of employee submitted suggestions.

    Legal References:       
    RCW 28A.625.100 - 110         Employee Suggestion Program – Board of directors of a school district may establish – Awards

    ADOPTED: 06/05/2003

    Procedure No. 6070P Employee Suggestion Program


    1. Finance Office – The finance office, specifically the business manager, is responsible for implementing and administering the Employee Suggestion Program.
    2. Administrative and Supervisory Staff – All administrative and supervisory staff should lend their aid in implementing the Employee Suggestion Program and, within the parameters outlined in this guideline, support and encourage employee participation.
    3. Employees – All employees are encouraged to participate in the suggestion program. 


    1.  Eligible Employees – Because maintaining maximum productivity is assumed to be a fundamental responsibility of the Yelm’s administrative team, the Employee Suggestion Program is generally intended for non-administrative employees.  The superintendent, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, business manager, executive directors, directors and managers are not eligible to receive awards through the program.  However, other administrative personnel are eligible under this program to submit suggestions for improvements outside their areas of responsibility.
    2.  Eligible Suggestions – Types of eligible suggestions include, but are not limited to the following: 

    1. Cost savings/avoidance through reduced time, labor, space, material, supplies, and other expenses.
    2. Improved efficiency/effectiveness through streamlining of methods and procedures, better planning, etc.
    3. Reduction of “red tape” in conducting district business.
    4. Improvement in quality of services without comparable increases in cost. 
    5. Improvements in safety of district operations without equivalent cost increases.

    3.  Ineligible Suggestions – The following suggestions are not eligible for consideration under the Employee Suggestion Program: 

    1. Suggestions not relating to district activities, authority or responsibility, or which would require changes in law to implement.
    2. Suggestions regarding salary, employee benefit levels, hours and conditions of employment, job classifications, provisions of collective bargaining agreements or personnel policies.
    3. Those calling attention to problems without seriously attempting to address them.  For example, vague, generalized suggestions such as, “Find a better way to teach students,” are not eligible.
    4. Suggestions regarding operations or processes currently under review or which have been reviewed within the last year, and suggestions which are duplicates or near duplicates of suggestions reviewed within the last year.
    5. Suggestions (a) submitted anonymously; (b) from someone other than the originating person; (c) duplicating those already submitted; or (d) containing inappropriate language.

    4.  Major Productivity Improvements – The business manager or designee shall determine which suggestions are major productivity improvements and qualify for special monetary awards.  Major productivity improvements are defined as suggestions which (a) have been implemented and which have resulted in a first year net savings of cost avoidance of at least $2,500; or, (b) which, in the opinion of the business manager, have resulted in significant improvements in efficiency/effectiveness, reduction of “red tape,” improvement in quality of service, or improvements in safety of district operations.


    1. Processing Suggestions – Suggestions must be made in writing using the form provided by the finance office.  Both individuals and employee teams are encouraged to submit suggestions.  In the event a group suggestion is eligible for an award, it will be shared among all members of the group of submitters. Completed forms include the following information:  The name and location of the employee; a brief explanation of the problem needing resolution; and a sufficiently detailed solution for the suggestion to be reviewed and the potential for successful implementation evaluated. 
    2. Processing – The program will be administered by the business manager.  The business manager will be available to answer questions and provide assistance in completing suggestion forms.  Suggestion forms and program information will be made available to all employees at all work areas.

      It is expected that developing productivity improvement suggestions will be done on the employee’s own time.  In no case, may overtime be accumulated for any task related to submitting suggestions for the Employee Suggestion Program.

      All suggestions are to be submitted to the business manager.  The business manager will acknowledge in writing or by e-mail (as appropriate) every suggestion received.  If the suggestion is classified as ineligible, the business manager will explain in the acknowledgement why the suggestion did not meet eligibility standards.
    3. Review and Evaluation – All eligible suggestions will be evaluated within 90 days of receipt.  Evaluation will take place in order of receipt.

    As necessary, eligible suggestions will be referred by the business manager to an appropriate topic expert in the relevant department/division for a brief assessment of the suggestion’s potential value and possibility of successful implementation.

    A district ad hoc committee will be established.  In the event a suggestion by a committee member is to be evaluated, that member will be excused from evaluating their own suggestion and be replaced by an alternate.  The committee will: 

    1. Review the suggestion with the school/department administrator, and staff as appropriate;
    2. Identify suggestions with sufficient cost/benefit ratios and sufficient potential for success to recommend implementation; and
    3. Identify recommended suggestions that are potential major productivity improvements and forward them to the business manager. 

    The business manager will forward suggestions assessed as having potential for successful implementation to the superintendent.

    The business manager will maintain all records of the suggestion review and evaluation process, and report the evaluation results to employees who submitted the suggestions reviewed.  The business manager will also monitor implementation of employee suggestions.

         4.  Awards

    For All Implemented Suggestions:  All employees who submitted productivity improvement suggestions that have already been implemented or are scheduled for implementation shall receive the following: 

    1. A letter of commendation from the superintendent;
    2. Depending on the benefit of the suggestion, a cash award ranging from $25 to $250. 

    Special Awards for Major Productivity Improvements:  It is expected that in most cases special awards for major productivity improvements will be given the year following the submission of the suggestion, after the implementation of the major productivity improvement and verification of the benefit.

    In addition to the above, employees who have made suggestions resulting in verified major productivity improvements shall receive: 

    1. A suitable engraved Yelm Community Schools plaque citing their contribution; and
    2. A one-time cash award, of at least $200 and up to 10% (not to exceed $2,000) of the documented first year’s saving resulting from implementing the suggestion. Or, in the event the suggestion resulted in a significant quality improvement for which a dollar value cannot be calculated, a cash award within the same range as determined by the business manager in consultation with the appropriate administrator.

    ADOPTED: 06/05/2003

6000 Policies