Suggestion Systems: American-style vs.
The American-style suggestion system stresses
the suggestion's economic benefits and provides economic incentives.
Kaizen-based suggestion system stresses
the morale boosting benefits of positive employee participation.
Three Stages of the Suggestion System
1. Encouragement. In the first stage,
management should make every effort to help the workers provide suggestions,
no matter how primitive, for the betterment of the worker's job and the
workshop. This will help the workers look at the way they are doing their
2. Education. In the second stage,
management should stress employee education so that employees can provide
better suggestions. In order for the workers to provide better suggestions,
they should be equipped to analyze problems and the environment. This
3. Efficiency. Only in the third stage,
after the workers are both interested and educated, should management be
concerned with the economic impact of the suggestions.
You'll encounter difficulties if you try to
skip stages one and two and move straight to the third stage.
Kaizen Strategy: 7 Conditions for Successful
Subjects for Suggestions
In order of importance:
Improvement in one's own work
Savings in energy, material, and other resources
Improvement in the working environment
Improvements in machines and
Improvements in jigs and tools
Improvements in office work
Improvements in product
Customer services and
According to the Japan Human Relations
Association, most of the suggestions that have economic impact come from
groups, while individual-based suggestions serve as morale boosters and
Three Key Benefits
of Suggestion Systems
Suggestion systems are a valuable opportunity for worker
self-development as well as for two-way communication in the
Provide an opportunity for the workers to speak out with their
supervisors as well as among themselves.
Provide an opportunity for management to help the workers deal with