How to Create the Idea Submission Form

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This post describes the need for an employee suggestion program and you’ll be able to download an Employee Idea Submission Form Template that can support your Lean Six Sigma program. Go here to get an employee suggestion program template free download.

Creating a culture of excellence requires systems that are inclusive of all employees. Indeed, Respect for People must make its way into formal and informal systems within an organization. One formal way demonstrate the Respect for People principle is to have a formal and effective Employee Suggestion Program.

One critical item in that suggestion program is the actual creation of the suggestion form – the venue by which the employee will submit her idea for continuous improvement. And, you can also download a FREE Suggestion Program Template here.

Creating a channel by which employees can submit their ideas for improvement is a cultural enabler of continuous improvement. Put plainly, it’s a formal system that the organization can use to solicit ideas and listen to the thoughts and concerns of employees.

Making this form is both a science and art form. We must design the form to accomplish the following:

  1. The format of the submission card must encourage critical thinking and reflection – not just a complaint.
  2. The format of the submission card must be self-selective; that is, the submitter must put in some work, resulting in fewer submissions, but the submissions will likely be of higher quality.
  3. The format must be easy to understand and quick to complete.

Here’s one example of an Employee Suggestion Program Card:

employee suggestion form download

This 3×5 Index Card has the following sections:

  1. Name
  2. Submission Date
  3. Safety, Quality, Productivity, and Costs (SQDC)
  4. Describe the Problem
  5. 5 Whys and Root Cause Analysis
  6. Countermeasure (your idea for a solution here)

Notice that all of this is on a 3×5 card – and, yes, it is effectively a Mini A3 Problem Solving Form.

Also notice how much work the submitter has to go through to be able to place a card in the box? The thinking involved in completing a card is the manifestation of Respect for People. Why? – now we are moving from a complaint box to a Employee Thinking System. Encouraging employees to think in this simple but systematic way drives involvement and excellence.

How to Create an Employee Suggestion Card

Here are the steps:

  1. Buy Avery 3×5 Blank Index Cards
  2. Go here to get an employee suggestion program template free download.

And that’s it.

Next in this Employee Suggestion Program series, we’ll look at the metrics necessary to measure and hold accountable the program.

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  1. Mike Oliver says

    I noticed under the ‘5 Whys’ you have four whys with comment lines. Is the fifth why the countermeasure, or is the countermeasure still based on the over all problem? Or perhaps the comments begin at “5 Whys:’? I ask this because I am certain someone will ask me the same question. Thanks.

  2. Cesar says

    Thanks for sharing this, Pete.

    Simple yet so effective and systematic tool of getting improvement suggestions from shop floor employees.

    Cesar Q. Galvez

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