For Money-Saving Ideas Turn to Your Employees
As the economy continues to sour businesses are looking for ways to save money by lowering operating costs or increasing profits. And although it has traditionally been the responsibility of management to find ways to trim costs many companies forget to turn to one of their best sources for ideas – their employees.
Gone are the days when you could simply raise your prices to increase your profits. Competition is high for existing business and raising you prices could mean taking yourself out of the picture. Reducing costs is buying into the idea of a penny saved is a penny earned.
To find those pennies look to the people whose job often involves spending them in the first place.
A good approach to this is to start an internal program specifically targeted at getting these ideas. There are a few key things that should be considered when doing this.
Although people may have good ideas, they may also be reluctant to air them publicly. Make it possible to submit ideas anonymously with the option to make it public after it is accepted so that they don't run the risk of embarrassment.
The Fun Factor
Try to find a way to make it a fun contest. I've heard of companies creating Buck-A-Day programs where the employees are all asked to find ways to save a dollar a day. Consider having a Wanted: More Cost Reducers poster where you post an employee's photo when they come up with a cost-saving idea.
No one likes to work in a vacuum. When someone makes a suggestion make sure you let them know that their idea is getting due consideration. It's called encouragement. And remember – any idea that saves you money is a good idea.
To contribute they will have to know about it. Put it in the company newsletter, post it on the bulletin board, or mention it at the next board meeting. I know one company that advertised it by having it printed on pay slips.
Let them know that their ideas are valuable. Set a prize for the top cost-saving ideas. A simple plaque or stand-alone award can go a long way when it comes to personal recognition for achievement. Add to this a perpetual plaque that lists the top 12 savers and put it in your lobby for everyone to see.
In the end everyone wins.
Forward to a Friend
By Rod Gilchrist
If you have any questions or comments concerning this article we welcome your opinions. Please email them to newsletter@123-Awards.com. We also welcome any suggestions for story ideas. To unsubscribe to this newsletter please use the Manage Your Subscription link at the bottom of the page.