The biggest challenges facing suggestion schemes today

I am often asked: what are the biggest issues you face when trying to launch an ideas programme within an organisation?

Having being involved with ideas management for over ten years, the challenges today are the same as they were all those years ago.

It is important right from the start to outline the objectives of the programme and review on a regular basis.

1. Reputation – In my personal experience, suggestion schemes do have a bad reputation within some organisations. This is no fault of the scheme itself, but in the initial set-up of the scheme. When launching a scheme it can be easy to fall in the trap of promising the world but in reality delivering very little.

2. Management Support – There is no mistaking that the most successful suggestion schemes have the full support of the management team and sponsorship by a high level manager. Without this support, the scheme is sometime not taken very seriously within the organisation and can fall by the wayside very quickly.

3. Engaged Workforce – So what is the suggestion scheme for? Ultimately the scheme is there to engage the employees in the business. There is an old saying ‘When you employe someone you get the brain thrown in for free’. By using your employee’s creativity to develop ideas within the business, you will start to have an engaged workforce.

One tip – If you say you are going to do it, then do it!

4. Lack of Delivery – As mentioned earlier, delivery can be an issue within suggestion schemes. There is nothing that will kill your programme quicker than not delivering implemented ideas, feedback to submitters or cost savings to the business.

This last one could be considered the most controversial

5. Lack of research or knowledge – Over the last twelve months I have seen an increase in business from organisations that have employed management consultants in the past to set up suggestion schemes that have failed within two years. Recently, I had an enquiry from a company that, less than thirty-six months ago, had spent over £1m hiring a management consultancy. They employed the consultants to develop and launch a suggestion scheme and it was already failing. They wanted help to revive it and get it back on track. The sad thing was that they could have had all the information, support and assistance free with membership of ideasUK.

So, what can we gather from the above points? Well, setting up the scheme is the easy part, maintaining the scheme in the long term is the challenge.

ideasUK can help you embed your suggestion scheme within the culture of your organisation and make it a continued success, contact us now to see how we can help.


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