6 Steps to Start an Employee Suggestion Program: Step 1

People help hand join up stairsIs your organization planning to launch (or relaunch) an Employee Suggestion Program?

In this blog post series, I will share six steps to help you establish a successful Employee Suggestion Program. These steps are based on those outlined in the book Employee Driven Quality.

Step 1: Establish Your Employee Suggestion Program (ESP) Development Team

The first step is to establish a development team for your ESP. This team will define and implement your ESP. So, who should be on your ESP development team?

Breadth of Team

If you plan to implement a company-wide employee suggestion program, it is important that your ESP development team comprises employees from all departments that will be involved with the ESP. For example:

  • Human Resources
  • Product Design/Development
  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Finance/Accounting

If you’re implementing your employee suggestion program at the department level, then this breadth is not necessary.

Depth of Team

Many organizations make the mistake of failing to involve employees from every level when the establishing the ESP. Here’s why it’s important to avoid this mistake:

  1. Front-line employees offer valuable feedback at the development stage of your ESP. They ensure that your suggestion program will benefit both employees’ needs and management’s goals.
  2. Senior management buy-in is necessary for the program’s success. There will be no way to maintain a long-term ESP without their assistance.

Size of ESP Development Team

Make sure the team is no larger than ten people. Teams larger than ten are often unwieldy and end up as a net-negative.

So, start with 5-10 employees who are excited and committed to making your employee suggestion program successful.

In summary – the first step to implementing a successful Employee Suggestion Program is to build your ESP Development Team. Follow the steps above to build this team, and you will increase the odds of building a successful ESP at your organization.

In the next post of this series, I will cover Step 2 – Defining the Objectives of Your ESP. Until then…

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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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