6 Steps to Start an Employee Suggestion Program: Step 3

People holding pieces of a jigsawThis is the third post in our series on how you can establish a successful Employee Suggestion Program (ESP), based on the excellent book Employee Driven Quality.

Our last post covered Step 2, Defining the Objectives of your Employee Suggestion Program.

In this post we will cover Step 3: Creating A Detailed Framework of Your Employee Suggestion Program.

You can create a detailed framework for your ESP by establishing these four areas: 1) Tracking, 2) Training, 3) Recognition, and 4) Continuous Improvement.

Area 1: Tracking

The first step is to create a way to keep track of your employees’ ideas. Make sure to keep it simple for everyone to understand by:

  • Creating an Idea Form
    • Include: who submitted the idea, date of submission and idea description
  • Tracking Ideas
    • Track your ideas to be sure credit is given where credit is due

Make it as easy as possible for your employees to submit ideas. IdeaGlow makes it very easy for employees to submit their ideas, and for you to track them.

Area 2: Training

This step is critical to the success of your ESP!

Be sure to train your administration, idea coaches and idea makers:

  • Admins need to know how ideas are logged and tracked
  • Idea Coaches need to know the philosophy of your ESP and how to get ideas implemented
  • Idea Makers need to know how to submit ideas and the details of your recognition/reward system

A great way to train and inspire people to get involved is to have a bulletin board with charts and graphs that track ideas, participation and highlights. IdeaGlow makes it very easy for you to implement this.

Area 3: Recognition

Your ESP should foster teamwork throughout your organization.  The real reward of the implementation of your idea is simplifying your job, improving quality, or increasing customer satisfaction.

Be sure to acknowledge everyone involved through:

  • Celebrating personal milestones
  • Announcing quarterly awards
  • Publicizing successes

While encouraging your employees to participate, don’t turn involvement into a competition. Boost team successes rather than individual ones. IdeaGlow makes it very easy for you to recognize employees without creating destructive competition.

Area 4: Continuous Improvement

Do not just implement your ESP and assume everything is going well.  Measure the results of your program and find ways to continuously improve them:

  • Measure metrics such as number of ideas submitted, number of employees who submitted ideas, participation %, % of ideas implemented.
  • Regularly survey your employees and identify ways to make your ESP better.

Continuous improvement of your ESP is very important.

In the next post of this series, I will cover Step 4: Pilot for Your Employee Suggestion Program. Until then…

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Laura Daniele

Hello, I'm your author, Laura Daniele. 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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