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Develop suggestion schemes into part of the company's systematic improvement work! With a systematic and straightforward system, the collection and management of suggestions becomes a natural part of the company's everyday work.
It can be difficult to start a functioning improvement culture in an organisation. This can be due to the frequent lack of effective routines and ways of working to handle suggestions. Perhaps the management is not sufficiently committed or does not prioritise work with suggestions for improvements. The unexploited knowledge in employees who see opportunities for improvements on a daily basis is perhaps not obvious at first glance. Many of these suggestions for improvements would result in increased customer and employee satisfaction and profitability.
The reward system and other motivation factors are important aspects in an organisation's suggestion scheme, but in the worst case, if they are not designed in the right way, they can undermine the suggestion scheme and even create a bad atmosphere.
If the creativity within an organisation is to be utilised, improvement work must be prioritised.
The business case for improvement work
For improvement work to be effective, it should build on a systematic, straightforward and responsive system. A systematic system creates clarity, straightforwardness facilitates management of suggestions, and responsiveness means that all ideas, both small and large, must be noticed.
As an example, to demonstrate the business case for a functioning suggestion scheme, Toyota - well known for its systematic suggestion schemes - earns on average 2.4 Swedish krona for each krona invested in improvement work.
A critical point in improvement work is the choice of which suggestions should be implemented. A method we recommend is a so-called PICK Chart. Using a PICK Chart facilitates the ranking of suggestions in terms of their feasibility and benefits.
Then you can work with a pre-determined number of suggestions at a time. When one suggestion has been implemented, work on implementing a new suggestion can begin. Finally, reward the suggestion in an appropriate manner, for example at group or individual level.
The three foundation stones in work with improvements
To achieve a functioning improvement scheme, we recommend the following:
Set quantitative goals and evaluate them systematically
The more ideas that come in, the better chance you have to find suggestions that lead to improvements.
Make it simple and straightforward
Ensure that you have a clear path that makes it easy for employees to hand in suggestions and do not set too many requirements for how the idea is presented.
Response and rapid feedback
Set a time plan for how quickly the suggestion will be assessed and stick to it. Justify why the suggestion was approved or not. Remember that the implementation is often the biggest reward!
How does CANEA solve improvement work?
CANEA provides a fully integrated program family, CANEA Framework, which contains modules for the management of documents, cases, processes and projects.
The CANEA Improof module is specially designed to support improvement work through:
- Simple reporting for all
- Ranking of suggestions
- Automated flow for effective management
- Feedback to those making the suggestions
- Clear overview, for example of ongoing suggestions
- Inbuilt diagram tool for follow-up
Learn more about CANEA Improof by clicking here.