Veterans Administration opens online idea box for employees

The third annual VHA Innovation Competition gives 300,000 employees the chance to voice their ideas and vote on their peers’ concepts.

When your workplace is a network of 152 hospitals and nearly 1,000 outpatient clinics all over the United States, you need a little more than a cardboard suggestion box to find out how employees think things could be improved.

That’s why the U.S. Veterans Health Administration is, for the third year running, giving employees a few weeks to submit their ideas online to make the agency better. Of the entries in the VHA’s Innovation Competition, 100 will be chosen—through employee votes—to become full proposals, some of which will receive funding, says Chuck Brown, director of the VHA’s innovation program.

All 300,000 employees in the VHA, the Veterans Benefits Administration and Department of Memorial Affairs may submit ideas, comment on ideas and vote, he says.

Idea submissions have been accepted beginning May 16 and ending June 3. Voting lasts from June 6 through June 10.

There has long been a “huge, pent-up demand” for VA employees to share their thoughts, and this competition has met with huge participation, Brown says.

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