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Employee Suggestion System | Evaluator's Handbook 

General

  1. Evaluator should give prompt, thorough evaluations to all suggestions. 
  2. Every evaluation should be completed within thirty (30) working days of receipt. If more time is required to evaluate, please notify the OPM, Employee Suggestion System, at 501-682-1823.  
  3. Contact the OPM Employee Suggestion System if clarification is necessary or additional information is needed.  
  4. If a suggestion is adopted, back-up data must be provided to show dates for implementation.
  5. If the suggestion is not adopted, the rationale for the evaluators response should be as explicit as possible. Making statements such as "this is not a good idea," "not feasible," "no benefit," etc., without further explanation does not provide sufficient documentation.  
  6. Suggestors whose ideas have not been accepted may appeal to the Suggestion Award Board.  
  7. The Suggestion Award Board consists of the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, the Administrator of the Office of Personnel Management who serves as chairman, and the Chairman of the Legislative Council. The decisions of the Board regarding suggestions, awards, and appeals shall be final and binding to all parties concerned.  
  8. The Suggestion Award Board meets monthly to review those suggestions that have not been accepted. The Board may request the agency to re-evaluate the suggestions if the Board feels further evaluation is needed.  

Eligibility Criteria for Submitting Suggestions 

  1. Employees eligible to participate in the Employee Suggestion System Program are those who are full-time State employees of all departments, agencies/institutions, boards, commissions or other agencies of the State supported by State and/or Federal funds.  
  2. The following categories of employees are not eligible to participate in the Employee Suggestion System Program:  
    1. The elected constitutional officers of this State including employees of the Office of the Governor. 
    2. The General Assembly and its employees including employees of the Bureau of Legislative Research of the Arkansas Legislative Council and the Division of Legislative Audit. 
    3. Members of the Arkansas Supreme Court, Circuit and Chancery Courts and prosecuting Attorneys. 
    4. Members of the Governor's Cabinet, agency directors or other person(s) appointed by the Governor as head of a board or commission. 
    5. Employees occupying a teaching and/or ahtletic coaching position at a State-supported institiution of higher learning.  
    6. Those persons employed in the Administrative Section of the Office of Personnel Management. 
    7. Those employees who have been assigned problems to resolve as a normal part of their job duties, unless the suggestion is outside their work area. 
    8. Members of the Suggestion Award Board. 
    9. Employees on Leave Without Pay, unless the suggestion was submitted prior to going on Leave Without Pay status. 
    10. Employees terminated for cause. 
    11. Retired and voluntarily terminated employees unless the suggestion was submitted during employment. 
    12. The parents, children, spouse or siblings of persons listed in A through K above who may also be a State employee. 

Any suggestion which states a specific problem, proposes a specific problem, proposes a specific method or process of resolving that problem, and which has been submitted by an eligible employee on the official suggestion form shall be considered eligible for evaluation except as provided otherwise.  

Ineligible Categories or Suggestions

The following categories of suggestions are not eligible for evaluation and will not be accepted:  

  1. Those expressing a personal COMPLAINT or GRIEVANCE. 
  2. Those affecting classification, compensation or staffing.  
  3. Those outside the scope of State Government.  
  4. Those which suggest a study or survery.  
  5. Those affecting a program, process or method covered by a moratorium or having prior consideration. 
  6. A suggestion which is a duplicate of another suggestion which has been submitted within the last two (2) years. 

In the event either an employee or suggestion is found to be ineligible, the person involved will be notified in writing by the Employee Suggestion System of this action, The specific reason(s) for ineligibility will be given.

Suggestors whose ideas have been ruled to be ineligible may appeal to the Suggestion Award Board.

The Suggestion Award Board consists of the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, the Administrator of the Office of Personnel management who serves as chairman, and the Chairman of the Legislative Council. The decisions of the Board regarding suggestions, awards, and appeals shall be final and binding to all parties concerned. Appeals may be filed with the Administrator of the Office of Personnel Management.

The Suggestion Award Board meets monthly to review those suggestions that have not been accepted. The Board may request the agency to re-evaluate the suggestions if the Board feels further evaluation is needed.
 
Evaluator: The Key to an Effective Employee Suggestion System 

  1. The greatest benefit of the Employee Suggestion System is that it provides an open channel of communication through which employees can submit ideas that may improve operations and/or save money for their agency/institution or statewide. The possibility of receiving recognition for having their ideas adopted, motivates employee participation in the program. 
  2. As the evaluator, you are the key to maintaining employee participation in this program. By recognizing the value and significance of the suggestor’s efforts, you can either encourage or discourage the suggestor’s future attitude toward his/her job and the Employee Suggestion System. The evaluator’s task is one that can be rewarding to you, to the suggestor, and ultimately to the State. 

Organizing Your Evaluation Process 

  1. Organizing and prioritizing your evaluation of suggestions can expedite the process.
  2. A thirty (30) day turnaround time is acceptable for most suggestion evaluations. You should notify the OPM Employee Suggestion System if an evaluation will take longer than thirty (30) days.  
  3. Suggestors understand that some evaluations take more time than others. The OPM Employee Suggestion System will inform the employee and will work with the evaluator if extra time is required for a thorough evaluation.  
  4. The OPM Employee Suggestion System maintains copies of each suggestion. If you misplace or lose a suggestion, contact OPM for a copy. 
  5. Time management will help in expediting the suggestion evaluation. Most suggestions are fairly simple to evaluate if team techniques are utilized.  
  6. Some suggestions will require research and investigation. Whenever possible, delegate someone to help with the research to expedite the evaluation process.

Evaluation Process for Suggestions  

  1. These instructions are for general use and are not intended to create a standardized or step-by-step method for suggestion evaluation.  
  2. Since you are a member of the management team your knowledge of the agency's budgeting and costing methods will give you an advantage in determining the cost/savings of the suggestion.  
  3. The data which you have received with the suggestion will be the basis for your evaluation. There may be supportive papers such as graphs, charts, drawings, etc., which may assist you in costing the suggestion.  
  4. Before you start the evaluation, take a moment to review the suggestion and get a clear picture of what the suggestion is. If the suggestion is not clear, contact the OPM Employee Suggestion System Office for clarification from the suggestor.  
  5. Be objective. The employee has placed his/her TRUST in you to conduct a fair and impartial evaluation.  
  6. Look for how the suggestion will affect your area of operation. Will it affect other areas? Can you identify these areas?  
  7. If implemented, will this suggestion have a savings impact beyond the area addressed in the suggestion? Can you identify these effects?  
  8. With the available data, determine the costs to implement and benefits to be derived if the suggestion is implemented. It is important to remember that some suggestions have intangible benefits, e.g., increased morale. You should ask yourself if the suggestion can be used as outlined or in part. Sometimes it is possible to adopt a suggestion although the solution as finally implemented may not be identical to that outlined by the suggestor. A statement of work to show the condition of savings in material and/or man-hours will help determine if the suggestion falls within the tangible category.  
  9. Remember, even if a suggestion is implemented in a modified form, YOUR AGENCY is responsible for the SUGGESTOR'S MONETARY AWARD.  
  10. When completing the evaluation report, be explicit and clear in your response to the suggestion. If you have completed the above steps, you should be ready to complete your evaluation report with enough data to support the implementation or non-adoption of the suggestion.  
  11. Available employee awards are as follows:  
    1. $100 - $5,000 for tangible suggestions (10% of first year savings)  
    2. Certificate of Recognition and $100 for intangible suggestions. 
  12. Once you have completed your evaluation of the suggestion, please complete the Evaluator's Form concerning the suggestion.