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Cost-saving Suggestions
by Jim Collison

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Do you have a suggestion program with a suggestion box that's collecting cobwebs instead of valuable employee ideas? Do you feel your employees might have some good suggestions and ideas...but you're drawing a blank on how to get them to bring their suggestions and ideas to you? Well, maybe the Norton Company's solution might work for you.

A volunteer team heads up the suggestion program at the Norton Company, an abrasives manufacturing facility in Watervleit, NY. Rita Hebert, the Committed to Action (CTA) team leader, said that all 12 members do this in addition to their regular workload. No one is working full-time on the suggestion program.

Suggestion Program Benefits

The CTA team feels that the suggestion program is a lot of work, but the benefits to the firm and the employees are well worth it. Hebert said, "The program helps improve employee morale. Everyone enjoys the recognition and the 'pats on the back,' and they like the prizes and awards they receive, also."

The cost savings from the CTA far outweigh the cost of administering the suggestion program. In one year the firm saw a savings of over $320,000...resulting from 323 employee ideas, for a 54% participation rate.

Suggestion Program Winners

Employees are recognized monthly, quarterly and yearly with monetary awards as well as other prizes. Two outstanding ideas of the month and two of the best safety suggestions are chosen each month. The winners receive monetary awards. Also, everyone who implements a suggestion gets a t-shirt and another item, such as a jacket, sweatshirt or gym bag.

At quarterly luncheons employees who participated in the program receive winning plaques and awards. Three merit awards are given for suggestions not chosen as "Ideas of the Month" but which were also noteworthy efforts. The employees' managers or supervisors present the awards.

Department awards are also given out at these luncheons for the departments that have 100% participation in the suggestion program, highest percentage of participation in the suggestion program, and most suggestions implemented. Trophies are presented to the team leader and each of the team members receives a prize.

Ask the
Jim Collison, author of The Complete Suggestion Program Made Easy, will answer your questions about suggestion programs, employee ideas, and employee involvement. CLICK HERE to email your question.

More Information on Suggestion Program Resources:
Suggestion Program "How-to-do-it"
You’ll get a goldmine of tips, examples, forms, guidelines, step-by-step actions to launch — or relaunch — your own successful employee idea and suggestion program...when you order the IdeaTracker Kit. And with IdeaTracker no longer have to be overwhelmed with keeping track of all the employee ideas and suggestions generated in your employee suggestion and idea program.