I once asked a deputy chief executive as to what he attributed the lively culture of continuous improvement in his organisation. He said, without hesitation, the suggestions scheme. His scheme, unlike others I have seen had several critical ingredients:
- He was in charge of it – and responded personally to almost all the suggestions made
- The emphasis was on a rapid response – the people heard back about their suggestion in a day or two
- There were no complex forms to complete – it was made as easy as possible to submit an idea
- The emphasis was on praise and recognition rather than financial reward
- It was fair: each suggestion was treated on its merits no matter from whom it came
- It was straight: there was no hint of paternalism or fobbing people off
What is your suggestion scheme like?