Suggestion Systems USA Recent History. American Employee Idea Programs. Most of the suggestions American companies received were minor in nature. Let’s look at a few from 1941. An employee at Macy’s was rewarded for a successful dress design. The Public Service Corporation of New Jersey gave $ 10 to an electrician for recommending a better way of repairing bus wiring. A United Airlines mechanic won a cash price for suggesting that a no-smoking sign be placed near a gas pump. But these minor suggestions added up. The same year General Electric accepted 12,453 of the 40,834 suggestions it received, paying out $ 95,000 in awards.

Employee Suggestion Systems

Employee suggestion systems – like the rest of the American economy – got a real shot in the arm during World War II. Companies were pressed to produce larger quantities of goods with a depleted workforce and scarce resources. Prodded by the War Production Board, companies turned employee suggestions into a means of contributing to the war effort. Bausch & Lomb doubled cash awards for good suggestions, and published winners on local radio shows. Other companies set up groups – called Century Clubs – for workers who had reaped more than $ 100 for their suggestions. After World War II, US suggestion systems found fertile ground in unlikely soil. W. Edwards Deming brought this concept of continuous improvement (CI) to Japan’s shattered industrial complex. In his scheme, employee suggestions quickly assumed an important role.

2016 Update
According to Chicago-based National Association of Suggestion Systems (NASS), employee suggestion programs have saved organizations more than $2 billion. Additionally NASS reports the adoption rate of employee suggestions is 37% reflecting that employees are submitting very high-quality suggestions that can impact major bottom-line efficiency,” says a prior NASS president. It is unfortunate that in this age where organizations are paying expensive consultants to find newer, better, and faster ways of doing things, sometimes the obvious slips right by because the company’s own work force is not consulted. NASS has later on been renamed IdeasAmerica.

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