6 Steps to Start an Employee Suggestion Program: Step 4

Cartoon scientistThis is the fourth post in our series on how to establish a successful Employee Suggestion Program (ESP), in part based on the book Employee Driven Quality.

Our last post covered Step 3: Creating A Detailed Framework of Your Employee Suggestion Program.

In this post we will cover Step 4: Pilot for Your Employee Suggestion Program.

What does a “Pilot” mean?

A pilot is a small-scale test that will help your organization learn how a large-scale project might work once implemented.

You can set up the guidelines of your ESP pilot by asking 4 questions. What are these questions? Let us take a look at them one at a time.

Who will participate in testing your ESP?

You are going to need a group who will give your new Employee Suggestion Program a fair chance and feedback to improve any flaws.

So, start by defining who will participate in our pilot program.

How long will you experiment with your ESP?

For most organizations, the Pilot should last 2-3 months to give enough time to allow your ESP to settle and let initial excitement calm to provide more realistic assessments.

How will you inform the rest of your organization about your pilot?

Use bulletin boards with announcements or write articles for your organization’s newsletter to keep everyone updated with the success of your pilot.

How will you evaluate your pilot?

The purpose of your pilot is to test your ESP in a small part of your organization and make changes to improve its quality based on suggestions from your pilot participants.

To formally evaluate your ESP in the pilot, measure metrics such as:

  • Total ideas/week
  • Percentage of employees who submit an idea
  • Average ideas/employee
  • Percentage of employees who participate (such as comments, votes, etc.)

In the next post of this series, I will cover Step 5: Rolling Out 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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