Well-run suggestion schemes can increase productivity

Research presented at a conference today, as part of National Ideas Day, shows that employee suggestion schemes can increase employee creativity, as well as having a beneficial effect on the bottom line by raising productivity.

Professor Stephen Wood, of the University of Sheffield's Institute for Work Psychology, has looked at the practices of 120 organisations in order to determine the most effective way to run an employee suggestion scheme, and how such schemes affect business.

Professor Wood explains, "Successful suggestion schemes are carefully planned, continually publicised, supported by top management and involve giving feedback to employees on their suggestions. They also use a variety of rewards to recognise successful ideas - both monetary and non monetary. A scheme with these attributes would generate a high number of high quality suggestions.

"Unfortunately, fewer than twenty per cent of the companies I surveyed reported schemes with all of these characteristics, which suggests that most companies aren't getting the most out of their suggestion schemes.

"We found that suggestion schemes have a greater effect on creativity than even job design."

Notes for Editors: For further information: please contact Lorna Branton, Media Relations Manager, on 0114 222 1046 or Professor Wood on 07717377185.