5 Reasons Most Employee Suggestion Programs Fail

dart-picMany employee suggestion programs fail. Don’t let yours be the next one.

Organizations make common mistakes when implementing their employee suggestion programs. Are you making the same big mistakes other organizations are making in their employee suggestion programs?

Though common, these mistakes are not ones that you want to be caught making in your employee suggestion program. They could cost you your employee suggestion program as a whole, your organization’s potential improvement, and your organization’s workplace morale.

Below are 5 reasons why most employee suggestion programs fail:

1. Asking for Too Much Information:

An employee suggestion form is key to an employee suggestion program. But when you ask for more information than necessary in the form, you’re setting your employee suggestion program up for failure. The goal of an employee suggestion program is to receive ideas from your employees in hopes of improving your organization’s processes and/or products. If you ask for minute details on your employee suggestion forms, your employees are going to feel reluctant to fill out the long – and probably complicated –  form.

2. Asking for a Resolution:

While asking for a resolution would be helpful, you’re actually limiting your employees’ suggestions.

Take a look at North Florida Community College’s Employee Suggestion Box. One of their guidelines for suggestion box submissions is:

“4. When problems are outlined in a suggestion, please include your recommendation for resolution.”

When employees bring up a problem in the employee suggestion form, it makes sense to ask for a resolution. But what if your employees don’t know how to resolve the problem?

More than likely, your employees won’t fill out the employee suggestion form because they can’t offer you the resolution you asked for. And then you lose out on potential ideas.

3. Senior Management Isn’t Interested:

If senior management isn’t interested, your employee suggestion program won’t go far.

If you want serious employee suggestions – or suggestions at all – management needs to be interested in your employee suggestion program and actively show your employees that the program is valuable to them.

According to a USA Today article published in March 2001, a survey developed by OfficeTeam found that:

“Only 38% of working men and women feel their managers are very willing to listen to new ideas and suggestions for improvement.” [Click to Tweet!]

With that low of a percentage, most employees are less likely to take the time to submit their ideas to uninterested management.

4. No Topics for Suggestions:

If you want good feedback from your employees, you need to periodically solicit suggestions on specific topics. What kind of topics do you want your employees’ suggestions to be focused on? Improved internal processes? How to create a more creative workplace? Do you want to seek ideas on one specific topic for a certain time period? Or do you want suggestions for anything and everything?

Inform your employees of topics for suggestions you want to receive for a certain time period.

5. Not Seriously Considering or Implementing Employee Ideas:

If employees feel you’re not going to seriously consider or implement their ideas, they are unlikely to participate actively. Not only will your employees be unhappy with the organization’s apparent lack of follow up, but this will likely decrease overall employee morale.

Make sure to clearly communicate to employees when ideas are selected for implementation and when ideas are successfully implemented.

Don’t Let Your Employee Suggestion Program Fail

These 5 mistakes are easily avoidable.

Now that you know how to keep your employee suggestion program from failing, learn how you can create a successful employee suggestion program that’s right for your organization.

To get new information we publish on employee suggestion programs, sign up using the box at the top-right. Companies of all sizes (from Fortune-500s to growing startups) use software from IdeaGlow to build their own employee suggestion programs. IdeaGlow is affordably priced and relatively easy to implement. If you’re interested, you can apply for a FREE trial.

Leila Durmaz

Hello, I'm your author, Leila Durmaz. 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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