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Power of Employee Suggestion Program
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The acknowledgement of the ‘power’ of the manpower has widened their functions in an organization. Previously the workforce was considered to be the ‘hands’ that made the machines work. But the changing competitive scenario calls for the mental skills more than the physical skills of the workforce. Many programs were introduced to draw ideas from the employees for improving the profitability and the general working environment of a concern for its continued sustenance. Employee suggestion program is one such program.

Employee suggestion program invites technical as well as general ideas from the employees. Technical ideas that can improve the productivity, the quality of the product, nature of the product and its life cycle, reduce the cost incurred are all welcomed by the organization. Similarly ideas related to the overall well being of the employees like better working conditions, suggestions for the safety of the employees are all taken into account.

The guidelines for employee suggestion program should be well drafted and informed to the employees. The kind of ideas that are accepted, the evaluation procedure followed, the reward policy and any other issues related to this program should be decided in advance. Employee suggestions may be technical or for better administration or reduction of wastage. It may be an individual idea, or the contribution of a group. A general form must be drafted and circulated for admitting new ideas to avoid confusions and delay in the procedure. It should state the name of the people behind the brainwave, the impact of the idea, how it can be implemented etc to have a general picture. Once the suggestion is submitted, an evaluation committee must evaluate the case study and inform the participant on the progress. Reward is a crucial determinant as this decides how motivating it is for an employee to suggest new ideas. Reward policy therefore plays a crucial role in this program. Employees can be rewarded by recognizing and congratulating them by publishing their ideas and the name of the people behind it in the company webpage. Reward can be monetary or non-monetary, fixed or variable. It could be variable if the impact of the idea can be enjoyed by the company through increased profitability for some time. Reward policy for a group and individual idea too should be made clear. Recognition and reward act as a boost for generating better ideas, thus reflecting on the company profitability. Similarly, the guidelines where patent or copyright are involved must be well defined to eliminate dispute. Many companies in India demand the name of the company to be submitted, and not the individual name, while filing for the patent. A good policy to inform the participant on the progress made by her suggestion on a continuous basis should be followed. This induces the employees to improve their effort on suggesting new innovative ideas.

Employees are in a better position to know the needs of the company. The acceptance of their suggestions backed by a good reward system induces them to put in better innovative ideas. Innovative ideas result in better profitability assuring better survival prospects for the company.

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