Posted by Duncan on April 28, 2013
Before launching a new employee suggestion program, you may want to consider your corporate culture. Are you receiving any fresh and innovative ideas? Are the suggestions already circulating at staff meetings or amongst staff members themselves? If so, maybe an informal method of cultivating any new ideas may be warranted rather than a full-blown program.
Maybe scheduling a departmental brainstorming session, to discuss particular topics during portions of your weekly staff meetings. You can set aside one morning for a breakfast meeting, where every employee is asked to submit at least one of their own ideas.
Employee suggestion programs can be difficult to keep up with, time consuming and can cause hard feelings rather than the positive outcome you desire and must be strictly managed to be a success.
Elements of a Successful Employee Suggestion Program
Employee suggestion programs can and do succeed. The ones that do succeed share common elements to their success. There are a number of factors to be considered significant in the overall success of any employee suggestion program. These factors are common to any successful process that will take the employees’ time, as well as offering the possibility for significant rewards. If you do decide to implement an employee suggestion program, the following must be considered for it to become a success.
Appoint a Cross-functional Suggestion Review Team
A cross-functional team must review any suggestions and be acknowledged within 48 hours. If this team is made up of all directors or management, it can be seen as being out of touch with the rest of the workforce. However, it will have power to implement the suggestions. If it involves other employees, the process can be time-consuming and perceived to serve self-interests. Senior management’s agreement and ownership become a second step in the approval process.
Establish Guidelines for Your Employee Suggestion Program
Set out guidelines as to which topics are on the table to suggest. Some that are likely to be included are ideas that produce savings, increased productivity, revenue and morale. Employee suggestions need to be more than just any old suggestion. Primarily it must offer some detail about how the proposer would implement their suggestion. It’s easy to get carried away with an idea. Additional detail would be required but not a detailed action plan – some meat on the bones of the idea is sufficient.
Keep the channel open and flowing
Designate an administrator for employee suggestions, who will ensure the process moves at a steady pace. A firm that finds itself with over a hundred suggestions will get bogged down very quickly. What a morale buster for people who had turned in those suggestions!
Rewards and Recognition in Your Employee Suggestion Program
The reward for suggestions must be clearly outlined upfront. If the suggestion is for cost savings, the employee receives a percentage of the savings. This reward can be between 5-25% of the proven cost savings. Rewards can also include company merchandise sporting company logos, gift certificates or an awards dinner.
Feedback in Your Employee Suggestion Program
Pass on any feedback to people in a private setting, especially if the idea was rejected. Otherwise, people will not stick their necks out by offering any more suggestions that could be implemented. However, when a suggestion is implemented, publicly acknowledge the contribution at a staff meeting, with permission of the employee. You can also post the employee suggestion and names of the employees on the implementation team the reward given, on notice boards or via company e-mail.
Keep the employee suggestion program participants informed of the progress of their suggestions in the program. Employees just want to know what is happening with their ideas. In many organizations, suggestions disappear into a vortex from which they may never emerge.
A Job Well Done
Consideration of all the elements outlined here will manage the successful flow of suggestions into the proper channels for implementation. Those willing to put themselves out there for the benefit of the company will feel empowered now they have a voice, and can see their ideas being manifested. A happy workforce is a productive workforce, ultimately enhancing the office environment, becoming more efficient while all the time promoting your company into a different league.
Posted by Duncan on April 28, 2013
Deloitte are the big winners here:
"The Department of Education said it received approximately 140 submissions for a review of the province's school transportation system. The provincial government hired Deloitte in December 2012 to review the system, which costs the government around $50-million to run."
Posted by Duncan on March 28, 2013
Seems like the suggestion initiative is under pressure. The Washington Post reports on “The (86,000) budget-cutting ideas that got away”, mentioning that of the ideas submitted to President Obama’s Suggestion Box: “The review found at least 28 cases in which the program seemed to work as promised”.
You can read the article here: Link
Posted by Duncan on March 20, 2013
Although Vetter is ideal Continuous Improvement Software, defining CI is tricky, so tricky I won’t even attempt it! I’ll refer you to the definitions of more knowledgeable folk than I:
1. “Continuous Improvement is the seeking of small improvements in processes and products, with the objective of increasing quality and reducing waste.” Source
2. “What is continuous improvement? Continuous Improvement is an ongoing cycle of positive change and employee involvement. “ Source
3. “Continuous Improvement, often known as Kaizen, is essentially a small step-by-step incremental improvement strategy. It is based upon a belief that continual improvement can be brought about by a never-ending series of small changes. Even in the face of enormous innovative improvement strategies, there will always be the need and opportunity to supplement such strategies and initiatives with continual small step changes.” Source
4. “A structured measurement driven process that continually reviews and improves performance.“ Source
5. “Continuous Improvement (CI) is an ongoing effort to make incremental improvements to products, services or processes over time. Processes are constantly audited and modified based on their efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.” Source
6. “Continuous improvement is a long-term business strategy to improve your business in terms of customer value and satisfaction, quality, speed to market, flexibility and reduced cost.“ Source
7. “A continuous improvement process (CIP or CI) is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. …. processes are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility”. Source
8. “It is defined as an ongoing effort to improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek "incremental" improvement over time or "breakthrough" improvement all at once. Delivery (customer valued) processes are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility.“ Source
Posted by Duncan on March 17, 2013
U.S. businesses lose approximately $11 billion annually due to... employee turnover, according to a new Bureau of National Affairs study "What Drives Employee Engagement and Why It Matters".
”With recruiting costs running approximately 1.5 times annual salary,” the study added, “the ability to engage and retain valuable employees has a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line.”