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Staff Suggestion Scheme

Operating a successful Staff Suggestion Scheme is not easy!

Many organisations embark on a Staff Suggestion Scheme with the hope of developing what Peter Drucker calls, “a thinking workforce”. But to their disappointment, what they often achieve is more of a complaining workforce. Instead of suggestions that help to solve problems and raise quality and productivity, much of what they receive are feedback which merely point out the problems without offering practical solutions. Rarely do they receive suggestions that are well thought-through and carefully written.

Is your company in such a predicament?

To overcome this problem, the management must do 3 things (at least):

  • Set clear standards of what is meant by a quality suggestion
  • Train all staff in how to spot opportunities for improvement and how to write a quality suggestion.
  • Train managers and supervisors to guide their subordinates in writing suggestions.

In fact, a study mission on Suggestion Schemes in Japan organised by the National Productivity Board in 1987 found that training staff in how to make suggestions was a common practice among outstanding organisations like Toyota and Matsushita.

Towards this end, we have specially developed a series training programme entitled Ideas@Work to help you to better manage your staff suggestion scheme. At the same time, you can also engage our consultants to guide you in your efforts.

The consulting team at Hoshin Consulting is led by Mr Lam Chun See and Mr Peh Seng Ket.

Mr Lam received his training in the area of staff suggestion schemes and other Japanese productivity schemes from the Japan Productivity Center as well as from working alongside Japanese experts attached to the National Productivity Board. Mr Lam has been a trainer and consultant in the area of Staff Suggestion Scheme since 1986.The clients that he has successfully served come from both Malaysia and Singapore.

Mr Peh has many years of experience in the hands-on management of the staff suggestion scheme. He worked for about 20 years as productivity facilitator in the Singapore Technologies group of companies. He was a key activist in the development and management of the staff suggestion scheme at ST Kinetics, a company that won the coveted Singapore Quality Award in 2002. For the past one year, Mr Peh has been working with the Brunei government to set up and operate the staff suggestion scheme in the civil service.

If your company is new to the staff suggestion scheme, we can assist you to develop and implement such a system, avoiding the pitfalls that many organisations encounter. First, our consultants will guide your SS Committee to develop the key elements of the scheme such as: the Organisation Structure, Policies & Goals, Promotion Plan, Evaluation Procedure, Award System, Monitoring System and so on. Then they will provide hands-on guidance in the implementation of the various systems.

If your company already has a staff suggestion scheme, but is facing difficulty in sustaining it, we can help you to review the entire scheme, diagnose the problems and then develop and implement corrective measures. Among the organisations which have benefited from our consultants' guidance in setting up and managing an effective staff suggestion scheme are: Tat Seng Paper Containers, Asean Bintulu Fertiliser Sdn Bhd, Pertronas Penapisan Melaka Sdn Bhd, Jurong Shipyard Limited and Shuanglong Engineering Services Pte Ltd.

Ideas@Work is a series of training programmes aimed at all 3 key players whose roles are vital to the success of your suggestion scheme; namely, the SS steering committee, the managers and supervisors, and the staff who make the suggestions.

We have even specially produced a video, entitled Ideas No Enough to enhance the effectiveness of our Ideas@work training. This video features popular local television artistes in an actual company setting.

Programme Title

For Whom


Tapping Employee Ideas (TEI)

SS committee members and department SS coordinators

  • Better understand the key factors for success in managing a staff suggestion scheme
  • Able to develop strategies to overcome the problems in managing the staff suggestion scheme

Encouraging Staff Suggestions (ESS)

For line managers and supervisors.

  • Able to perform his role in the effective implementation of the staff suggestion scheme
  • Able to help his staff to come up with more and better quality suggestions

Tools for Effective Suggestions (TES)

All staff who are eligible to participate in the company’s staff suggestion scheme

  • Understand his role in the staff suggestion scheme
  • Able to spot opportunities for suggestions
  • Learn basic idea generation techniques
  • Know how to present ideas in the form of workable suggestions