ideasUK shares Secrets to Successful Ideas Schemes


What benefits does having a suggestion scheme bring, to both employers and employees?

The benefits to the employee are that it gives them a voice in the business and allows them to have an outlet for their creativity and to make a change to their working environment. For the employer it encourages a culture of innovation that can lead to sharing of best practice and a reduction in costs to the business therefore more efficient working and increased employee satisfaction.

It is well documented that organisations who listen to employees and act on suggestions developed become an employer of choice with a more motivated and happy workforce.

What is the best way to incentivise staff to take part in a scheme?

There are two schools of thought around incentivising staff to take part in the programme. Old school thinking was that you had to reward or ‘bribe’ people to take part in the scheme; however, this encouraged wrong behaviours within the organisation. In a well managed ideas programme, employees feel proud of the fact that they are taking part in something which can benefit both themselves and the organisation. Continue reading

An Interview with Nationwide’s Elen Owens on their Successful Staff Suggestion Scheme


This is the first in a series of interviews where we will be questioning people who are involved with innovation and ideas programmes, how they have gone about setting them up and its benefits to their business, by creating increased profits, staff goodwill and enthusiasm. Our first interviewee is Elen Owens who is the scheme manager for Nationwide Building Society who have been members of ideasUK for over 10 years.

Who do you work for? Please tell us a little about them.

I work for Nationwide Building Society, based in Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. It’s in the financial sector with 19 administration, contact and technology centres, plus approximately 700 branches. Which means we have about 15,783 permanent employees and an ever changing number of temporary and contract workers. Continue reading