Innovative ideas drive a company’s success. Whether creating new products, improving existing services, or finding more efficient workflows, innovation keeps a company at the forefront of its industry.

Employees are a very important source of great ideas. They are on the front lines, directly interacting with customers every day, moving product through the company, and supporting the business. Employees know what customers are saying, how products work, and how processes can be improved.

Here are some guidelines on how to tap into new ideas to better a company with an employee suggestion initiative.

Steps to Designing a Successful Program

Where to Start – First Steps

1. Obtain Executive Level Buy-in

If company leaders aren’t listening to and considering suggestions, employees will not participate. Leadership sets the tone for a culture of innovation by lending weight to its importance. This encourages engagement across all levels of employees and managers, and ensures the serious consideration of viable suggestions.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted a study* about suggestion programs. It found that 36% of businesses with such initiatives feel that “top leaders do not see the program as a critical contributor to innovation.”

Senior leaders are more likely to support a new program with a persuasive business case, outlining the likely benefits and the investments required…

Employee Suggestions – an Untapped Resource

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