Latest research from IRS Employment Review shows that staff suggestion schemes can be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to employers.
Successful schemes can produce rewards for bosses including higher sales, more efficient ways of working and lower costs.
Greater staff involvement is a key goal of staff suggestion schemes for 96% of organisations while service improvements also appears close to the top of the list for 84%.
Putting a price on the value of their staff brainstorming ideas Siemens Standard Drives said their scheme was worth £750,000.
Most of respondents successful schemes were recently implemented; 12% were created in 2004, 20% in each of the three preceding years, and 4% in 2000.
Other key findings include:
- of respondents without a suggestion scheme, 67% said that it was because they involved employees in other ways
- the lack of time or resources to run a scheme was cited by 43% of respondents
- of the employers that had previously run a scheme unsuccessfully, 15% thought employees would resist the idea and 6% anticipated no organisational benefits
- a quarter of respondents (25%) currently without a suggestion scheme plan to introduce one in future
- most employers rewarded their staff with gift vouchers, cash or non-monetary gifts
IRS Employment Review managing editor, Mark Crail said:
"You don't have to be Einstein to have a good idea, but it takes a good manager to recognise a staff suggestion that can improve a company’s performance and put it into practice.
"For some people, suggestion schemes are associated with the suggestion box that sits empty and ignored on the canteen wall - an unwanted, token attempt at employee involvement, destined to achieve nothing much. But our research reveals that this is not always the case."
Crail added that the best schemes "deal with suggestions quickly and efficiently, implement those that are worth doing, and make sure the effect is measured and fed back to managers and employees."