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Board Meeting - July 12, 2006

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Meeting Summary - Employee Suggestion Board
July 12, 2006
10:00 am - 11:45 am
Investment Board, 121 East Wilson Street, Madison, WI


Board Members:    Gene Dalhoff, Member; Sandy Drew, Member; David Vriezen, Member
OSER Staff:   Robert Toomey, Statewide Program Coordinator


The Board was introduced to its newest member, Gene Dalhoff.

As the Board Chair position was vacated by former member Jim Behrend's departure, the Board elected a new chair.  David Vriezen moved, seconded by Gene Dalhoff, to nominate Sandy Drew as the new Chair.  By voice vote, Sandy Drew was elected as Chair of the State Employee Suggestion Board.

Toomey brought up a suggestion from one of the agencies that the level of cash awards should be increased to encourage and reward employees who come up with cost-saving suggestions.  After reviewing past cash award data and scenarios of an increase, the Board -- after a motion by David Vriezen and a second by Gene Dalhoff -- unanimously approved an increase in the percentage used to calculate the cash awards from 2% to 3%.  

Also, David Vriezen moved, seconded by Gene Dalhoff, that the maximum cash award amount be raised from $1,000 to $1,500.  This was unanimously approved. 

Both increases will become effective for suggestions decided on at the next Board meeting.

After discussion, Gene Dalhoff moved, seconded by David Vriezen, that alternative funding scenarios be investigated for feasibility.  This motion passed unanimously, and Board Chair Sandy Drew will investigate this matter and report back.


The Board reviewed and decided on the following regular employee suggestions:

Number Name & Agency Suggestion Description & Benefits Board Decision


Daniel Hoyt & Andrew Knoke, UW-Oshkosh

Developed an energy-saving policy by placing inactive computers into a "sleep state." By placing computers into a "sleep state," specific software and system settings have allowed UW-Oshkosh to reactive sleeping computers for required updates and maintenance. The "deep sleep" enacts after 20 minutes for lab computers and one hour for faculty and staff computers. Previously, only monitors and printers were put into a standby mode.  In the "sleep state," a computer will use 4% of the normal wattage.

Certificates of Commendation and Cash Award of $340 ($170 each)


Christina Stapleton, DOT/DSP

Give statewide Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) training to payroll and personnel supervisors.

Certificate of Commendation


Lynn Oestreich, DOC

As part of a committee, this suggestion established an alternative discipline for inmates that did not extend their sentences or time spent in prison.  In theory, one might assume that money would be saved by this change.  In reality, the costs of running a prison are pretty much fixed regardless of the actual number of inmates there on a day-to-day basis.  However, the suggestion from the committee was implemented and some recognition is due to the suggester who was the chairperson of the committee.

Certificate of Commendation
FY06-14 Reche House, DNR Creation of e-mail newsletter for offices who order publications showing publication number and ordering instructions.  This eliminated need to send samples of publications to all offices.  Cost Savings:  Average $975/year.   Certificate of Commendation and Cash Award of $50
FY06-15 Joann Miller, Barry Gilbeck & Mary Fradette, DNR Revision of two forms used by customers to purchase hunting and fishing licenses to make them easier to understand while also updating the list of licenses available and the purchase price for each of those items. Certificates of Commendation
FY06-16 Susan Cook & Jane Launderville, DNR Cross-reference all active phone numbers assigned to facility with staff currently assigned. Avoids paying for phone numbers not used/needed.  Cost Savings:  Average $4,320/year. Certificates of Commendation and Cash Award of $108 ($54 each)
FY06-17 Paula Heiderscheit, DNR When customers purchase a conservation patron license (approximately 70,000 annually) they are asked a number of questions (prompts) by the sales machine. Paula identified a prompt that was asking an erroneous (misleading) question and suggested a change to make it easy to understand and also correct in terms of what the customer will be able to do with the license. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-18 Traci Brewer & Kathleen Koch, DNR Update DNR's computer inventory prior to reviewing licensing agreement -- doing this revealed 569 computers that were no longer being used by the agency.  Cost Savings:  One year--$359,289.  Averaged over 5 years:  $71,857.80 Certificates of Commendation and Cash Award of $1,000 ($500 each)
FY06-19 Kellie Hedlund, DNR Deer hunters receive a backtag when obtaining their hunting license. The backtag is a quick way to identify each hunter. Because of the weather elements, hunters place these tags in plastic holders so they last longer and wear longer. These protective holders were obstructing some important information (DNR #) which meant that staff at our registration stations (hunters have to report any deer taken) had to take the time to remove their tags to view the number. Kellie suggested moving this number so it continued to print but was no longer obstructed. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-20 JD Smith, Jr., DNR JD suggested creating a document that listed all payroll activity codes -- providing definitions and also examples of when each should be used -- for staff to use when completing their timesheets. This not only provides consistency, it also ensures meaningful time data is collected and reported on from staff throughout the state. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-21 Myra Snippen, DNR DNR has customer service staff located at service centers throughout the state. Laws, rules, and information needed to perform jobs are changing constantly given the high visibility of our hunting and fishing programs. This suggestion created a newsletter that is sent out to staff throughout the state, improving the timeliness of receiving information and also ensuring consistency in how this information is shared. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-22 Myra Snippen, DNR DNR has contracted with businesses throughout the state (and even neighboring states) to sell our hunting and fishing licenses. There are many different seasons, deadlines, timeframes and law changes that our partners need to be aware of to represent our department effectively. Myra suggested sending out newsletters to our agents on a regular basis to keep them aware of changes and what was going to be happening. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-23 Sandy Chancellor, DNR Each year, DNR staffs a booth at the Deer Turkey Expo. In the past, the staffing has been provided by the South Central Region. Due to staffing limitations, it is difficult to provide ample coverage for this event. Working cooperatively with staff in the Central Office to coordinate coverage and staffing will give better customer service and alleviate the burden on any one Region and also help strengthen teamwork. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-24 Dan Adams, DNR Use staff that are fully trained in BATS processing to perform "train the trainer" training sessions so staff can process the entire spectrum of work from the simplest renewal or name change to full batches.  Average Annual Savings:  $1,826. Certificate of Commendation and Cash Award of $50
FY06-25 Franny Meyer-Briggs, DNR Have Central Office staff spend an entire day working the Regional frontline in various areas of the state and have Regional staff spend time working in the Central Office so that both have a better understanding of the type of work and daily activities. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-26 DNR-West Central Customer Service Team (19 people -- names attached to suggestion documentation) Provide e-mail notification to Customer Service staff statewide when new regulations have been posted to the Internet. This will provide an opportunity for staff to review the regulations prior to receiving requests and questions from customers. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-27 DNR-West Central Customer Service Team (19 people -- names attached to suggestion documentation) Create and maintain a statewide accessible database of customers that have completed the Trapper Education course. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-28 Jean Berens, DNR Provide e-mail response notifying staff that a follow-up request has been completed. Notification will let all concerned know that the problem has been resolved. Staff will be able to save this response and better respond to repeat customers. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-29 Darlene Lushring, DNR DNR offers a number of hunting licenses that have a fixed number of permits available. The demand for these is far greater than the supply, resulting in the need for an application and drawing system. Customers send in their applications and then contact the DNR to check on their status (if they won or not). The suggestion creates a database page that customers can access through the Internet that tells them if their application was received, if they were selected, and if not selected, whether they get a preference point for future drawings. Certificate of Commendation
FY06-30 Sandra Green, DNR Revise the wording on an existing form that tells customers that we no longer offer a Senior Citizen Recreation card; and those who have one of these prior to them being discontinued can obtain a license to hunt turkey at no charge. This change not only has stopped the misleading of customers, but also corrected misinformation that was being distributed to our customers. Certificate of Commendation


FY06-31 Margaret Janovetz, DNR Change the format of a database system used by DNR staff statewide that (among other things) provides information on drawing results for customers. The suggestion was to change the format of the information to make the system more user-friendly for our staff when assisting customers. Certificate of Commendation


FY06-32 Carol Kunze, DNR Since there are more customers than hunting permits available, for many of the various hunting seasons we offer, customers are required to apply for a drawing for these number-limited permits. These customers are quite anxious to see if they were selected to receive one of these permits. Prior to the form change that was implemented (on the form, include a timeframe for the drawings), customers were not aware of when a drawing would occur and would make numerous contacts to obtain this information. Certificate of Commendation


FY06-33 Mary Hunter, DNR Create a bureau-wide standard requiring staff to create and utilize an Outlook signature block when sending e-mails. This helps identify where the sender of the e-mail is from, what section/bureau, and ways (other than e-mail) they can be reached in the event the receiver wants to communicate using other means. Certificate of Commendation



The Board decided on the Annual Awards for FY2006.  The awards are Individual Suggester of the Year, Group Suggestion of the Year, Agency of the Year, and Agency Coordinator of the Year.  The winners will be announced close to the Annual Awards ceremony, which will be held at the State Capitol, Madison, sometime in mid-November (exact date/time to be announced).  Updates will be posted at this web site at the "Annual Awards" page.


The next meeting will be sometime in early fall, likely September or early October, and will be announced in advance.

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Last Modified:  7/16/2010 10:20:28 AM
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