Definitions, Tools & Techniques:

Suggestion System

What is a Suggestion System (Kaizen Teian)?

A staff suggestion system is a formalized mechanism which encourages employees to contribute constructive ideas for improving the organization in which they work.

The overall aim is to gather, analyze and implement ideas in order to create results that have a positive impact on the business and/or deliver new value to customers.

An effective staff suggestion system improves one’s own work and the working environment, creates ownership and trust, builds teamwork, improves profitability and last but not least, enhances communication between employees and management.


Implementing an effective Staff Suggestion System that generates a sustainable flow of good quality ideas is not impossible.  In Toyota, 700,000 ideas are generated annually with a 99% implementation rate.

Benefits of a Suggestion System

  • Improves one's own work and the working environment
  • Engages and empowers employees
  • Creates ownership and trust
  • Improves motivation and morale
  • Improves customer satisfaction
  • Improves profitability


The Suggestions Cycle

Key Considerations for Designing a Successful Suggestions System

Many organizations have made the mistake of putting up suggestion boxes and expect employees to participate and contribute good quality ideas to improve the products, services and the working environment without creating a supporting infrastructure to manage the flow of suggestions.


More often than not, these suggestion boxes are either empty or become collectors of trash.

For a suggestions system to be successful and effective, the following factors have to be considered:

  • Formation of a suggestions committee to plan and manage the suggestions system
  • Defining the suggestions process, including a feedback system
  • Promoting the suggestions system
  • Evaluation system
  • Award system
  • Sustaining the suggestions system

"The only way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."

Sir Winston Churchill

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