5 Steps To Setting Up A Staff Suggestion Scheme

April 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Employment

Staff Suggestion Schemes

One simple idea can change the world, and in business, they are fundamental to driving a company forward. It’s no surprise then, that ideas suggestion schemes have been implemented by companies large and small the world over. Ricoh, HSBC, the UK Border Agency and the MOD are just a few of the companies who have realised just how invaluable harnessing the ideas of their employees can be.

Implementing suggestion schemes in the workplace is no small nod to employee ‘feel good’ schemes such as team building days. Studies show that the benefits to a company can run into millions – from cost cutting suggestions to new products of services developed on the back of an idea.

Ideas UK, an association dedicated to the promotion of employee involvement programmes, estimated that 32 million was saved by businesses in one year alone as a result of employee suggestion schemes.* So read on to find out how best to set up an ideas suggestion scheme for your company. And remember, if you’re unsure of the worth of setting up a scheme, then you can try a trial period of six months before fully implementing a system. At the end of the six months you will be able to evaluate the overall success.

Setting up a Suggestion Scheme in 5 Steps

1.       Decide on a System

Dealing with an influx of ideas can be a time consuming process, as ideas have to be evaluated by other team members and/or senior management. To make the process easier, you can invest in idea management software. This is a fun and easy way for staff to share ideas with each other and management, based on a social media type platform. Employees are able to ‘like’ ‘dislike’ ideas, communicate easily on ideas, and create and work with ideas in real time.

The results can be shared easily with senior management, and also includes tools for implementing ideas.

2.       Promote the System

To benefit from the wisdom and experience of the workforce, then they will need to know about it. You might also consider offering rewards for the best ideas to encourage participation. So think of a name for your suggestions scheme, and then let everyone know it exists with a ‘launch.’

3.       Set Out Guidelines

You don’t want employees simply complaining about the coffee. So make it clear what kind of ideas you are looking for. The idea should include a rough cost analysis and the real benefits to the company.

4.       Evaluate the Ideas

To properly evaluate the ideas you have collected, you should choose a team to help you assess and review the ideas. Be sure to include individuals from across all departments to gain the widest view possible.

5.       Give Employee Feedback

This can be time consuming, but letting your workforce know their ideas have been valued and considered will encourage them to submit more ideas. Never denigrate ideas and make sure feedback is positive.

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