All these terms, for ideasUK, mean the same thing, taking ideas from your employees and using them to develop your business. They can be simple ideas, like a new tool to do a job more easily, to big ideas which can change the world. The ideas can impact a business on many fronts: technologically, environmentally, financially, with health and safety, communications and so on. The business can benefit financially from these ideas, both on a basic level; increased profits, raised productivity and less obviously through reduced staff turnover. Employees can feel a greater sense of recognition and being part of the company – so it’s win win. Sometimes it is the staff on the front line who can see where improvements can be made, their ideas may not always be beneficial, but should always be made welcome. It’s the responsibility of the management team to weigh up the pros and cons of all the ideas and put into action those that are innovative and a real advantage to the business.
Setting up a scheme isn’t that difficult, but doing it right is.
Rewards to staff for their ideas are a great incentive, but these rewards needn’t be budget busters. Acknowledging them in some way makes a huge difference. The important thing is to set up a programme that works now and will continue to benefit the company in the future, it’s not a quick fix, it’s a long term investment, that needn’t cost a bundle to put in place.
Any industry can take advantage of suggestion schemes, from manufacturing to local councils If you have staff then you have an invaluable resource that should be tapped.
A suggestion scheme…
- Is a recognised programme through which employees can formally submit their ideas for improvement for consideration by management.
- A suggestion scheme helps to ensure that good ideas are not lost. Employees need to know that they can put forward ideas, which will be evaluated objectively, and that they are a vital and valued part of the organisation.
- Will generate cost savings, improvements to customer service, increased efficiencies and will improve employee morale in the workplace.
- Provides a vital communication channel between employees and management within the organisation.
- Is an integral part of total quality and ensures that everyone in the organisation has the opportunity to be involved in continuous improvement
Although most ideas programmes are individual to each organisation there are a number of areas to consider when developing a scheme for your organisation.
- Develop aims and objectives
- Ensure management support
- Ensure people and resources are available
- You have developed a robust process for evaluation
- Feedback from stakeholders
- You develop a reward / recognition structure that fits in with your organisational culture
ideasUK can provide your business with information on various types of programmes used by member organisations.
These include staff suggestion schemes (both centralised and decentralised), team initiatives, recognition programmes – stand alone or run in tandem with a suggestion scheme and informal programmes.
If you feel that you’re not making the most of your employees or could benefit from such a scheme or programme, please contact us and we can guide you towards a better, more innovative business using the brain power of your staff.