Program Rules

A suggestion is a specific proposal for improvement that can benefit the City and its employees. It may be new and original or a new application of an old idea.

Eligible Suggestions

Types of Suggestions eligible for awards may include:

  • Combine operations or functions
  • Create new designs, methods
  • Eliminate duplication, labor, equipment, unnecessary operations
  • Reduce downtime, costs, waste, safety hazards
  • Improve: 
    • Communication
    • Efficiency
    • Inventory
    • Methods
    • Service
  • Save: 
    • Labor
    • Material
    • Space
    • Time
    • Utilities

Suggestions Not Accepted

Suggestions not eligible for awards may include:

  • Suggestions dealing with City policy on employee benefits
  • Ideas which employees can put into effect without anyone else's approval
  • Suggestions which seek to correct simple operating faults, or a condition caused by the failure of any employee to perform an expected or assigned duty
  • Indefinite statements or observations that "something should be done" without offering a means of achieving improvements


Every active employee on the City payroll is eligible to submit suggestions and receive awards for those suggestions which are beyond the scope of the employee's functions or assigned duties with the following exceptions:

  1. Elected officials, City Manager, and Assistants
  2. Members of the Suggestion System staff
  3. Those who are primarily engaged in: 
    1. Development
    2. Engineering
    3. Methods Investigation
    4. Productivity Studies
    5. Research
  4. Employees who have been given a direct assignment for correction or improvement


Each suggestion is submitted on an official form to the Office of Organizational Effectiveness. You will be notified upon receipt of your suggestion. Each suggestion will be investigated and the results will be evaluated by the Suggestion Program Review Committee. The Committee will decide whether or not to adopt a suggestion. The committee also approves awards.


Awards are based on 10% of the expected savings during the first 12 months after implementation. The minimum award for tangible savings for each suggestion will be $25 and the maximum award will be $5,000. Awards for intangible savings may consist of letters of appreciation or favorable additions to personnel records. When two or more employees submit a suggestion jointly, or submit a substantially similar suggestion at the same time, a single award will be granted and divided equally among those employees signing the suggestion form. The awards may be paid in full after implementation or part may be deferred pending further review of the effectiveness of the suggestion for one year after implementation. 

The awards are subject to federal, state and local taxes.

Ownership & Retention

All suggestions, upon submission, become the exclusive property of the City of Winston-Salem. Each suggestion that is not adopted will be considered active for one year from the date of submission. An award will be made if the suggestion is adopted during that period. The person making the suggestion can retain credit by resubmitting the suggestion before the one year period is up. All decisions of the Suggestion Program Policy Committee with respect to eligibility, adoption, awards, or the interpretation of any part of the Suggestion Program will be final and binding on all parties. 

The City reserves the right to amend or discontinue the Suggestion Program at any time.