Council offers staff up to £5K for ideas

Aberdeen City Council is offering staff incentives of up to £5,000 as part of a new suggestion scheme aimed at trimming costs and cutting red tape. Staff at the local authority get cash payouts for proposals – ranging from £25 for a suggestion which is considered innovative but is not taken up, to £5,000 for the best idea of the year.

Organisational development manager David Coutts said: "It’s about getting the ideas from the front line and encouraging people to start thinking about how we can become a high performing organisation." He added that the council is looking to introduce measures which "get rid of bureaucracy and red tape and help us to become more efficient". Coutts said that, while other councils have similar schemes, Aberdeen will plough a portion of any savings back into benefits for employees. "A lot of other schemes centre around awards for the individual, which is fine, but as part of our scheme, 10% of any savings achieved will go back to improving the working environment for staff."

The city council’s 11,500 workers will be able to submit their ideas on paper or via the intranet. Coutts said the organisation has also begun comparing providers for a new home computing scheme and a bike scheme, adding that tax efficient cycles will help to tackle congestion. "Part of our transport policy is to start encouraging people away from using their cars. Unfortunately there is congestion – we are a city that has two rivers on either side of it and only two bridges to use."