3 Reasons to Encourage Small Ideas in Employee Suggestion Programs

A lot of companies believe that they need big ideas to have a successful employee suggestion program. Fortunately, it’s not true!

chick in eggSmall ideas can be very powerful. How can that be?

There are at least 3 reasons:

  1. Small Ideas Promote Innovation Culture
  2. Small Ideas Lead to Big Ideas
  3. Small Ideas Can Be Implemented Quickly

Let us take a detailed look into each of these reasons.

1. Small Ideas Promote Innovation Culture

Encouraging employees to share small ideas can help a company build a strong innovation community & culture.

Without much thought, employees can come up with small ideas as they work on their daily tasks.

Something is wrong if workers do not look around each day, find things that are tedious or boring, and then rewrite the procedures. Even last month’s manual should be out of date.
– Taiichi Ohno, the “father” of the Toyota production system.

When your company is open to small ideas and incremental improvement, employees can administer process changes and save time and money.

As those small ideas are shared with other employees, their processes can also improve—leading to a virtuous cycle of innovation.

Read simple ways to publicize your employee suggestion program so you can gain the most out of your employee suggestion program by increasing employee involvement.

2. Small Ideas Lead to Big Ideas

A small idea can lead to another small idea, which in turn can lead to yet another small idea—and can eventually lead to a big idea!

Thus, many small ideas in succession often lead to big ideas.

This insight is the reason behind the success of one of the most admired employee idea management systems—the Toyota Creative Idea suggestion system.

3. Small Ideas Can Be Implemented Quickly

Implementing big ideas requires significant resources—including people, money, and time.

But small ideas can be implemented quickly. They usually do not need much time or resources.

Once implemented, a useful, small idea can quickly improve a process. This leads to higher employee motivation to submit more ideas.

To read about specific instances where small ideas made big differences, check out employee suggestion programs that have multiplier effects.

You may also want to check out this article to learn more about the benefits of employee suggestion programs.

I hope you found this article helpful. Until next time…

Alex Ramirez

Hello, I’m your author, Alex Ramirez. I spend a lot of my time researching the best practices for innovation management, and writing articles to share them. I hope you find them helpful! I work at Accompa – one of our products is IdeaGlow innovation management software.

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