by Jim Collison
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.