Employees suggestion programs are a good idea — in theory.
What self-respecting leader would be against the idea of providing a platform for all employees to suggest new ideas or solutions or ways to improve efficiency?
But in practice these never seem to work in the long term.
– Leaders run out of energy to champion the program.
– It becomes a slow, cumbersome way to evaluate ideas.
– There is a disconnect between what sorts of ideas leaders are looking for and what employees contribute.
– Employees become frustrated when their ideas are not acted upon or even acknowledged.
There has to be a better way you might be asking?
There is and it is called Blitz.
In this process any employee can ask for help on a specific, real problem and ask for help from anyone across the business.
They become the Blitz Leader and call a Blitz of 20 minutes or less with a few people and start addressing the problem or generating some new ideas.
Rather than wait weeks for a reply, people can obtain new ways to solve a problem when they need it.
The other advantage is that anyone who calls a Blitz is still held accountable for fixing the problem or making a decision.
There is no ‘passing the buck’ with a Blitz process.
People ask for help, they get it quickly and they then get on with their jobs without waiting for a far-off committee to pass down their judgement on a new idea.
The Blitz process creates energy and movement among employees rather than sucking the life out of the creative process.
It enhances rather than dilutes the building of an innovative culture.
Blitz also provides a mechanism though the allocation of points to recognise innovation engagement.
I have done my best over the years to help leaders implement suggestion schemes but they never last more than a year. They are expensive and run out of steam.
Surely it is worth considering an alternative process to the old-fashion but well-meaning employee suggestion programs?
With the launch of Blitz Digital you can now Blitz with anyone in the organisation and your ideas are captured immediately.
The process is fun, energising and the tool guides you through the various stages.
You can then edit and refine your ideas at a later date.
If employees have a problem surely it is better to use a tool such as Blitz that is sustainable, more likely to be used and the results can be made public so that others share in the team or organisational learning.
Remember you can Blitz by yourself or with a partner or small group.