Time time to get rid of your suggestion box!

  • No recognition and reward: Employee recognition doesn’t need to be anything big or fancy. A pat on the back or a high five is enough to encourage the participation.
  • Too hard to submit ideas: People are busy and stop working to write down a critic on a slip of paper is useless if they won’t be followed. At the end of the day, it might turn into a pointless activity.
  • Doesn’t promote engagement: If there is no recognition and improvement’s visibility, employees could tend to decrease their participation on continuous improvement ideas.

What to do instead?

Personally, one of the most heart breaking situations is to have an environment where people are lazy or not encouraged about sharing ideas. I firmly think that companies should be aware of creating spaces to develop creativity and let their people be part of the change and growth.

“Suggestion-box type systems, even in their electronic manifestations, rarely get more than one idea per person per year.” (AlAn G. Robinson)

Companies may have a difficult time creating a lean improvement culture and could be ignoring as much as 80% of its improvement potential. This is so sad!

  • Empower frontline employees to execute their own experiments and lower the bar. Instead of asking for big, innovative ideas, ask for any sort of ideas — especially small incremental improvements! This will make the implementation easier to be reached in a shorter term.

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