Anyone who employs staff will know that they are the biggest asset an organisation has. So establishing an employee suggestion scheme is an ideal way to capitalise on the skills and expertise of the workforce. Companies from British Gas to Bupa have chosen to encourage employees to put forward their Eureka moments that will bring fresh ideas and products to the table. But what value do they really have? Read on for a guide to the benefits of employee suggestion schemes.
Employees know more about an organisation than anyone else, and so are ideally placed to spot or devise improvements to services or products. Research from ideas UK, a not-for-profit innovation business advisory service, shows that statistically 60 per cent of ideas won’t be used, but of the remaining 40, 25 are likely to be used to good effect. As a result, major organisations who have established employee suggestions schemes, report increased profits running into millions. Not only that, but less than half of employees do not expect financial rewards for their ideas; only 45% would expect financial rewards for the ideas their company implemented.* Even the smallest of businesses can benefit – with just one great idea.
Motivate and Improve Staff Morale
An engaged workforce is a happy workforce. Studies show that companies that have a culture of valuing employees enjoy triple the success of firms that don’t. So by creating suggestions schemes where employees are encouraged to put forward their ideas, companies are actively showing they value the contributions and creativity of their workforce. This boosts employee morale and empowers the workforce to achieve their best. Moreover, engaged employees remain loyal and are less likely to seek work elsewhere, so staff turnover is decreased.
Improves Value and Service to Customers
Employees on the front line are more aware of what improvements or developments can be implemented to enhance customer satisfaction. And ultimately, as the customer decides on the success of any business through buying a product or service, then the likelihood of providing a product or service that customers will value is increased.
How to Establish an Employee Suggestions Scheme
To effectively put in place a working system for collecting staff ideas, then there is a choice of a simple suggestions box can be used or specialist innovation management software. A suggestions box is the easiest and cheapest option, but software enables managers to more easily manage ideas. Some types of innovation management software allows employees to brainstorm ideas together through a social media type sharing platform, which can be especially useful for design and development processes.
Managing an Employee Suggestions Scheme
Whatever form the scheme is implemented in, the scheme will need promoting. Once the system is in place and all employees are aware of it, processing the ideas should be carefully managed. Always give feedback, and encourage employees to share without fear of ridicule or failure, no matter how implausible they seem. The best ideas are, after all, sometimes completely out of the box.