An innovative idea to capture innovative ideas from City of Edmonton Community Services staff is already paying off after less than a year.
Called the Innovation Station, it’s a simple web-based app, created entirely in Google apps and designed by lifeguard Cam Sylvester and Jorn Starko, supervisor of Northwest Neighbourhoods and Parks.
“Staff are encouraged to to go to the site and use a simple form with drop-down menus and text boxes to tell us what their bright idea is. They submit it, and the information is compiled in a spreadsheet,” says Jorn.
“Other team leads, foremen and supervisors are able to view the suggestions, so if a good idea comes from an employee at one work area, other work areas will have the advantage of the idea as well.”
People submitting suggestions do so in the open. Submissions are attached to their name and City email address; contributors must agree to a code of conduct relating to the content they submit.
Since the project began its pilot phase in February 2015, more than 100 submissions have been received from the approximately 500 users who currently have access to the website.
“So far, the Innovation Station has been shared with employees in our Community and Recreation Facilities and Neighbourhood & Parks branches,” says Jorn. “We need to discuss the various implications and logistics involved in rolling it out to all Community Services staff. Our ultimate goal is for the Innovation Station to be available to all City of Edmonton employees.”
Feedback from the Innovation Station is entirely positive,” says Jorn. “People are thankful that there’s a way to make good suggestions.”
Here are a few ideas that have been received:
The Innovation Station has been nominated for a 2015 City Manager’s Award of Excellence.