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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Improving your business by asking employees for suggestions

Whether your business is large or small, if you have employees, it seems a great idea to ask them whether or not they have any suggestions to improve the company. As a software consultant in a previous life, I have worked at several companies, yet I can’t recall one of them that did asked its employees for ways of improving their company. I recently came across an article on how to build innovation into a day’s work. You can read the full article here, but I will also summarize their suggestions:

  1. Offer your employees rewards or recognition. Since oftentimes employees don’t feel comfortable going to the owner or boss with ideas on how to improve the business, Allison De Meulder of Invitation Consultants decided to install a white mailbox in the central office. There, employees were encouraged to write down suggestions and every quarter, the company catered a lunch where they announced the top three ideas and offered $500 to the winning suggestion, along with a trophy. Allison says the ideas generated from employees have garnered thousands of dollars.
  2. Require employees to offer suggestions. Eved Services has monthly meetings where employees group together to come up with three new suggestions each. These ideas are either immediately implemented or are studied and reviewed after the meetings. Eved has made millions from suggestions offered by their employees, and feels all ideas need to be encouraged. They give stars to the best ideas and the top three earners are rewarded with lunch.
  3. Sharing online documents. Instead of firing off emails when there is an error, employees of C2 Educational Systems now just log into the Google documents and correct the documents themselves and add suggestions on how to make improvements.

2 comments:

Mommy Meryl said...

I love team building approaches to running a business - I always think that is better in the long run. ..

Theresa said...

Usually companies don't give a rat's behind about employee suggestions. THey just hang motivational posters and make us sit in on long meetings.