Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Employee Suggestions

This week I had a bit of surprise. I was giving a tour of our clinic to someone that is making his own clinic green . As I checked our office to find out how green we really are I was told that one of the clinical assistants had been leading the charge to decrease waste in the labs. It suddently dawned on me that our office does not foster an atmosphere to encourage suggestions.

On of the major corporate goals of lean and six sigma is to use the brain power that you have in the business. After looking over other blogs I came across this interview of Owen Berkeley-Hill. In it he compares the number of suggestions per year per employee at Toyota to other companies. Apparently Toyota receives 24 suggestions per year per employee. In our practice with approximately 50 employess that should garner 1200 per year (right now we're not close to that).

For those of you in primary care I'd ask you -- when was the last time you had a formal suggestion from an employee? How many do you get a year? When did you encourage and implement a change based on an employee's suggestion? For the employee's reading this blog -- how many of you could put a suggestion foward and have it acted on in a serious manner?

For those in the dental community this is Dental Assistants week. If you forget how important DA's are to the profession take another read of the Exception Dental Practice Management blog

1 comment:

richarddurnall said...

Hi Ian, Thanks for your link into my interview with Owen. I was just reading your post on suggestion schemes, which I found interesting as I've just written up my experience at the Lean 2008 conference in Melbourne. John Shook was asked about suggestion schemes and told a story that I've just published about how a guy was given $20 when his suggestion was accepted and made, once it was clear the change wasn't working his management coached him into understanding the impact and making another suggestion to change it back, collecting another $20 in the process! It's all about encouraging the right behaviours. Good luck with everything...