The employee suggestion box may seem like an antiquated concept. Who is going to drop a crumpled up piece of paper into a box, or send and email to an anonymous email address? With that attitude, no one. However,
Hugh Molotsi, VP of Innovation at Intuit Labs, believes that employee ideas can be the most underutilized tool in an employer's innovation strategy.
Here's the scenario: Your company encounters a large organizational issue. Senior management can't solve it. So, the organization spends thousands, if not millions, to bring in a consultant to try to solve the problem. It may work in the long-term, but how can you ensure ROI on such a huge investment? Alternatively, you could pose a brainstorm contest or competition (
think like a hack-a-thon) to your employees, spend a couple hundred dollars bringing in lunch or dinner for the staff, and empower your
employees to find the fix. Not only have you saved an enormous amount of money, but you've given your employees the opportunity to have a
direct impact on shaping your organization. An employee suggestion can turn into real solutions to problems and real improvements in your organization, without bringing in expensive and sometimes disruptive consultants. Do you invite your employee suggestion into organization strategy sessions or problem solving exercises? If you don't, it might be time to consider a change in 2015.