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Employee Suggestion Schemes


We have an employee suggestion scheme that has been around for years and is hardly used. Part of the reason is that in the Public Sector it is difficult to adequately reward good suggestions. There are a number of underlying reasons for this. The two most common appear to be a mentality that is unable to relate rewards to any cost savings that may materialise, and a feeling that it is inappropriate to reward employees that come up with good suggestions which should result from their job. If anyone has an effective scheme within their company and is willing to share the ideas with me, I will be most grateful.

Ian Cawthra
Stevenage Borough Council
Ian Cawthra

2 Responses

  1. An Idea

    When I worked for a former employer, we also had a workers suggestion scheme that was used from time to time. The way we got it in focus was to assign people to collect the ideas from employees ( or a box) and talk about them in a meeting. The first problem you will get is people think that the ideas are not acted on. You need to install the confidence into the staff by demonstrating to them that their ideas and suggestions will be given a fair chance. Feedback is also a key issue. Let people know exactly what was thought about their Idea and give reasons why it was accepted/rejected.

    As for prizes, well how about vouchers for leading high street shops. Value is not important, being acknowledged means a lot more.

  2. Ideas Box and Staff Memorandums
    If the idea is ‘cold’, you could try something I implemented in a company with the same problem. It was something called ‘Staff Memoes’. Very simply, these were blank memo documents (on bright coloured paper) which were completed by any member of staff – but passed to the most senior manager available. That manager had the responsibility of personally answering the question or comment within a set period. The document remained confidential – unless the member of staff agreed otherwise. The word soon spread that these documents and their content were taken seriously – and ideas, comments, complaints and suggestions started to flow in increasing numbers. Contact me if you want the full story.


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