3 Big Myths About Employee Suggestion Programs

Cute background with cartoon unicorns in the cloudsA good Employee Suggestion Program (ESP) can offer a variety of benefits for your organization.

However, three myths may be keeping you from implementing a successful ESP. Wondering what those are?

Myth 1: No One Has the Time

Employees don’t have time to innovate. Even if they do have time to come up with a suggestion, they won’t have the time to follow through.

In Employee Suggestion Programs, a team divides the duties: they review suggestions and help the initiator implement them. This team can hold one another accountable and ensure the process is followed through to the end.

Don’t feel like you have to dive in head-first to bring an idea to life; make small accomplishments that can lead to big improvements. Monica Alderson, Project Management Director for Hallmark, says, “Be realistic and don’t boil the ocean…start small and be successful.”

Sometimes your greatest successes come from small advancements from many individuals.

Myth 2: Suggestions Systems Discourage Teamwork

Employees won’t want to share suggestions because they won’t want to share rewards. 

Employee suggestion programs eliminate the idea of “compensation” as a reward. Instead, they encourage employees to collaborate to create a higher-quality idea, without the need for financial incentives.

According to Shelley DuBois of Fortune Magazine,

“Most people in business today tend to believe that collaborative work delivers better results.”

Most employees understand that, in the long run, collaboration delivers greater rewards than going it alone. The team will be more receptive to a reward of recognition within the organization as a result of a communal success.

Myth 3: Money is the Driving Force

Employees only submit ideas in pursuit of monetary compensation. Organizations that believe this point argue that money drives employee engagement within ESPs.

According to the Harvard Business Review, there is less than a 2% correlation between pay and job satisfaction. This relationship means that level of engagement is, for the most part, independent of financial reward.

There are far better ways to engage your employees, and they work. They all follow the same basic trend: establish a working relationship between employees and managers.


It’s time to dispel the myths about employee suggestion programs; the benefits far exceed the drawbacks that once characterized traditional suggestion programs. Upgrade your traditional program to one that doesn’t monopolize employees’ time, encourages teamwork, and rewards ideas with recognition.

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Lauren MacLeod

Hello, I'm your author, Lauren MacLeod. I spend a lot of my time researching the best practices for Employee Suggestion Programs, and writing articles to share them. I hope you find them helpful! I work at Accompa - one of our products is IdeaGlow Employee Suggestion Program Software.

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