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How the Right Change Management Tool Can Benefit Every Member of Your Organization

Posted on May 27, 2015

It's true in every organization - different departments and roles have different goals and objectives. Sales and marketing is not the same as finance, just as the goals of managers differ greatly from rank-and-file workers.

In well functioning organizations, these groups put their differences aside and work together to fulfill mutually agreed upon goals. In dysfunctional organizations, these groups are at odds with one another, to the detriment of the company as a whole. I still remember when I witnessed a CMO turn to a CFO and say, "My job would be a lot easier if you gave me more money."

It's not easy to find one goal that fills everyone's objectives, but one that does fulfill these needs is a good employee suggestion program. We've seen it time and again here at Vocoli - a well-implemented employee suggestion program has a way of uniting disparate departments into hitting organizational goals.

Who knows the work best? The people doing it! It makes sense that employees will know the better ways. The benefits of tapping into the collective knowledge for each role and department in an organization are as follows:

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. As the top dog of the organization, the CEO is the one called before the board to answer questions about company performance. Although it is seldom on their radar screen (for whatever reason), this is the position who ultimately stands the most to gain from cultivating employee suggestions.

This is demonstrated most clearly at Toyota. Once a laughing stock in comparison to the “Big Three” in Detroit, it now trumps them all in market share and is the number one car maker in the world. What's the guiding force behind the much vaunted "Toyota Way”? Taking employee suggestions seriously. Evidence in support of this was demonstrated when GM management implemented a few of their principles at a plant in California and witnessed a spectacular turnaround. Unfortunately GM management preemptively stopped utilizing these principles and later declared bankruptcy. Toyota kept it in place and went on to dominate.

As the person in control on the organization's purse strings, the CFO has one thing on their mind - how to save money to preserve the company's bottom line. The CFO is always on the lookout for opportunities to perform normal business operations at a lower cost.

Often the problem in managing money lies not in a lack of money to spend but rather on money being spent on the wrong things. Employee suggestion programs have a way of uncovering money poorly spent and directing it to more productive ends. For example, an employee suggestion program at a Caterpillar dealership found employees were more pleased receiving a new $50 desk chair rather than a $1,500 computer.

When asked, employees are ready and willing to share ways to save money. One hospital asked employees for suggestions and saved $1.7 million in year (without any layoffs!). Another hospital in a similar situation saved $3 million based on 200 employee suggestions, again averting layoffs entirely.

Human Resources
HR is primarily concerned with recruiting and retaining talent for an organization. Making the workplace an attractive one makes this task much easier.

Turnover is, in fact, a very costly problem. In addition to standard recruiting costs, a combination of lowered productivity, overworked staff, lost information, and training means replacing an employee can total 150% of the annual salary of the departing employee.

Part of the reason employee suggestion programs are so popular with HR departments is they are a cost effective way to boost employee engagement.

Engaged employees, that is employees who feel heard and have some input in the overall direction of the company, are much more likely to stay with their current organization. According to this report from Gallup, companies with high employee engagement had a 25% reduction in turnover in high turnover organizations and a whopping 65% reduction in lower turnover organizations.

Managers & Employees
It's hard to say who benefits more from a well designed employee suggestion program - managers or employees. When managers take their employees' suggestions seriously, they can reduce turnover, save money, uncover hidden value, improve conditions for innovation, and hit objectives. When employees see their suggestions being implemented they feel heard and included in the company and reap both the rewards of their recognition and increased profitability of the organization.

What do great companies all have in common? Engaged employees who care about the company’s performance and who make efforts to improve it. As it’s been shown time and time again, taking employee suggestions seriously benefits nearly everyone in the organization. So don’t relegate your most valuable asset to some forgotten wooden box in the corner, unleash it with a well organized digital solution. When your organization is ready to take the next steps towards success, give the Vocoli team a call at 888-919-5300.

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