After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Introduction to Suggestion System 2. Purpose (Objectives) of Suggestion System 3. Procedure 4. Problems.

Introduction to Suggestion System:

One of the most successful bridges between plant-improvement efforts and good industrial relations is the use of a suggestion system. A suggestion system taps the tremendous store of ideas that rest in the mind of employees. Certain employees volunteer their ideas because they derive satisfaction by making a suggestion, while others feel reluctant and thus arises the necessity of setting up a proper suggestion system so that employees can give way to their feelings, ideas and valuable suggestions.

Majority of companies make a cash reward for a valuable and useful suggestion. All suggestions go to the suggestion committee by-passing the immediate supervisor and other intermediate levels of management.

Purpose (Objectives) of Suggestion System:

Suggestion systems have the following purposes:


1. To suggest to management as how to improve company efficiency. Employees may suggest how to cut waste, prevent safety hazards, improve work methods, etc.

2. To encourage the submission of complaints.

3. To raise employee morale through giving them a chance to express their ideas on how the job should be done, to take pride in seeing their suggestions accepted, etc.

A well run suggestion system may yield a never-ending stream of ideas which cut costs and increase the employee’s feeling of accomplishment and participation.

Procedure of Suggestion System:


A suggestion committee is usually formed in order to consider, analyse and evaluate all suggestions made by employees. Suggestions Blanks (Fig. 20.1) are designed as a means of writing suggestions.

Suggestion boxes are placed in conspicuous and convenient places throughout the plant. Employees write their suggestions on suggestion forms (or blanks) lying by the side of suggestion box and drop the same in the box. The suggestions are periodically collected and put before the suggestion committee for review, investigation and action.

The practicability of each suggestion is explored and evaluated in consultation with the supervisors who may be affected. For all those suggestions which are accepted, the employees get a reward, often 10 to 25% of the savings produced by the suggestion during the first year.

Problems of Suggestion System:


A number of problems may be encountered in the establishment and administration of a suggestion system, e.g.;

1. Suggestion system bypasses the (immediate) supervisor so there is a considerable amount of apathy or outright opposition by the supervisors on a worker’s suggestion being accepted and adopted. Thus, suggestion system instead of doing benefit may do harm by antagonising supervisors.

Supervisors fear that if a worker’s suggestion is adopted they may be criticized by their superiors for not having thought of the suggestions presented by the workers.

This problem may be solved by giving recognition to both the supervisor as well as to the worker who submits a good suggestion.


2. A good suggestion helps doing the same job with less effort, e.g., with less number of workers. Thus, worker’s jobs are threatened. For this reason, workers generally hesitate to submit suggestions.

3. Suggestions being submitted and rewarded on an individual basis may generate serious resent­ment within the group.

4. Suggestion systems, sometimes, arouse union opposition because, as a form of upward commu­nication, they usurp what the union regards as one of its rightful functions.