I decided we required more “family engagement” at home. We could also have done with some innovation, and my daughters certainly needed a productivity boost so I set up a suggestion scheme. If you would like to try this I have detailed the implementation activity below:
DIY suggestion scheme:
- Designed suggestion form (name, idea, cost benefit analysis)
- Fitted a suggestion box by the front door (high traffic area)
- Set up weekly management review of ideas (me facilitator, wife chair)
Unfortunately the initial roll out didn’t take off as quickly as I had hoped. Suggestions were not forthcoming. So I instigated some improvements to drum up more interest:
- Added an incentive, extra pocket-money (money motivates; my children if nobody else’s)
- Agreed incentive with Finance (Mrs L. again)
- Instigated benefits tracking mechanism (to make sure ideas delivered)
- Publicised scheme via in-home posters and breakfast briefings (it’s all about comms)
This improved the number of suggestions dramatically but the quality was limited. 9-year-old daughter proposed un-workable suggestions about increased “screen time” and reduced chores. 4-year-old daughter defaced multiple suggestions with green and red crayon. More improvements to the system required:
- Set up e-form using a spread sheet template (download via Microsoft)
- Moved the scheme on-line to ease management (and improve security)
- Included “I made a suggestion” badge for all participants (extra motivation)
- Set up quick response evaluation with all suggesters (5 day SLA)
After 6 months of lack lustre performance I decided to leave the system open but reduced my management commitment, I now review and evaluate suggestions “periodically”.
Dad management system widely regarded as a flop by female inhabitants of family home.
You wouldn’t do it at home so why do it at work?
As Steven Covey would say “begin with the end in mind”
In this case the end is to get good, relevant ideas out of your employees heads and into action. If you can create a little employee engagement en route, all the better.
This is not an exercise in management systems
This is not an exercise in information technology
This is an exercise in communication
Instead of putting up a suggestion box, a better idea would be to sit down over a cup of tea, talk about the big issues and then listen to what your employees have to say.
If you would like to add a little more structure to the discussion try reading this.
(And if you need help making tea try this)
Enjoy this post? Click here to have them delivered straight to your inbox
Read another opinion
Image by jrthoms