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Employee Innovation Program

Archived information

Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Questions

  1. What was the Employee Innovation Program?
  2. Wasn't the Government paying public servants extra just for doing their jobs?
  3. Don't departments and agencies have their own recognition programs?
  4. Was the cash award taxable?
  5. If the award was given to a team of employees, was the amount be divided amongst participants?
  6. Were awards given for successful proposals where cost savings could not be measured?
  7. Who was responsible for administering the program and how was it administered?
  8. Who was responsible for paying the cash awards?
  9. Who participated in the pilot round of the program?
  10. How long did the pilot program run?
  11. Will employees who receive the award be publicly recognized?
  12. What kind of proposals were not considered?
  13. How did employees submit their proposals
  14. Were employees able to submit a proposal if their organization was not part of the pilot program?
  15. Were employees able to submit proposals that had government-wide applications

Answers

1. What was the Employee Innovation Program?

The Employee Innovation Program was a pilot initiative, which aimed to find creative and practical ideas leading to tangible savings and improved services to Canadians. The goal of the Employee Innovation Program was to encourage employees to identify savings and more efficient ways, within their organization, to deliver services to Canadians.

The pilot is now complete. A new “Employee Innovation” award will now be included as part of the Public Service Award of Excellence program to recognize bold, innovative cost-saving initiatives brought forward by public servants.

2. Wasn't the Government paying public servants extra just for doing their jobs?

It is important to engage employees in reducing costs and improving services. After all, they know the business best. This pilot program was to act as an incentive for employees to come forward with innovative ideas, allowing us to improve the way we work and be more efficient.

3. Don't departments and agencies have their own recognition programs?

Departments and agencies can recognize their employees for outstanding contributions. The intent of the Employee Innovation Program was to allow us to focus on creative and practical ideas that lead to tangible savings for Canadian taxpayers as well as increased efficiencies.

4. Was the cash award taxable?

Yes. The cash award formed part of the recipient's remuneration and was therefore taxable as income in the year that the cash award was received.

5. If the award was given to a team of employees, was the amount be divided amongst participants?

Yes. Members of a team were to receive equal portions of the award, which will consist of 10% of the savings measured in the first year of implementation, with a maximum of $10,000.

6. Were awards given for successful proposals where cost savings could not be measured?

The program allowed for recognition awards to be given instead of a monetary award where cost savings could not be measured. It was up to each organization to include this in their program.

7. Who was responsible for administering the program and how it was administered?

Organizations participating in the pilot were responsible for administering their own program, including setting up eligibility and selection criteria, establishing a selection committee and evaluating proposals submitted by its employees. The proposals were evaluated based on practicality, innovation and creativity.

Significant improvements to a government program or an internal service were also to be noted, and tangible benefits had to be observed in order to receive the award.

At the discretion of the deputy head, the award was to be given six months after the successful implementation of the proposal. The award consisted of 10% of the savings measured in the first year of implementation, with a maximum of $10,000.

8. Who was responsible for paying the cash awards?

Awards were paid by the employee's respective department or agency. The awards came from savings observed in that organization.

9. Who participated in the pilot round of the program?

The following organizations were part of the pilot program:

  1. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  2. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  3. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  4. Health Canada
  5. Parks Canada
  6. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  7. Transport Canada
  8. Veterans Affairs Canada

10. How long did the pilot program run?

The pilot ran for two years. It is now complete.

11. Will employees who receive the award be publicly recognized?

Recognition ceremonies were held on a departmental basis, at the discretion of the deputy head.

12. What kind of proposals were not considered?

Proposals aiming to eliminate individuals or teams, groups or activities were not considered.

Other proposals that were not be considered included those that involved:

  • services or benefits over which organizations have no control;
  • working conditions provided for under collective or other agreements;
  • services or benefits to employees, such as vending machines, cafeteria service, parking facilities, etc.;
  • amending legislation or revising central policies;
  • building and grounds maintenance; and
  • items already considered part of a proponent's normal job.

13. How did employees submit their proposals?

Employees in participating organizations were to contact the Employee Innovation Program Coordinator within their organization.

14. Were employees able to submit a proposal if their organization was not part of the pilot program?

Employees were encouraged to contact their Awards and Recognition Coordinator to see if a similar program exists in their organization.

15. Were employees able to submit proposals that had government-wide applications?

Proposals that required government-wide applications were to be provided to the employee's organization. The organization would then consider whether piloting the approach internally was feasible, rather than applying the proposal government-wide. In some instances, the department may have wanted to discuss the proposal with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat or with departments that may have had overarching responsibility for the issue.

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