Kim Karotki

Klasmann-Deilmann pro­mo­tes idea-genera­ting poten­ti­al of employees

From pro­mo­ting employee health and hel­ping the envi­ron­ment to opti­mi­sing prac­ti­ce by saving on mate­ri­als and time: for 15 years now, Klasmann-Deilmann has con­si­de­red ide­as under a sug­ges­ti­on sche­me that gives workers an acti­ve role in dis­co­vering poten­ti­al for impro­ve­ment wit­hin the com­pa­ny. It has now been updated to give per­son­nel more ways to sub­mit their pro­po­sals. And, to pro­mo­te the sharing of ide­as, the new pro­ce­du­re is to be exten­ded to our for­eign locations.

Did you know that com­pa­ny sug­ges­ti­on sche­mes have exis­ted in Ger­ma­ny – at least in embryo – sin­ce 1872? Giving employees the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­vi­de input in this way has mul­ti­ple bene­fits. As well as lea­ding to a ran­ge of impro­ve­ments, many of which redu­ce a company’s cos­ts, it is extre­me­ly moti­vat­ing for staff: their ide­as are reco­gnis­ed, valued and (in some cases) finan­cial­ly rewar­ded. This streng­t­hens loyal­ty to the com­pa­ny and, whe­re recom­men­da­ti­ons are worked on joint­ly, enhan­ces team spirit.

Over the past 15 years, a who­le seri­es of impro­ve­ments – from among 1,420 ide­as sub­mit­ted by 340 employees (as at April 2016) – have alrea­dy paid divi­dends. At the initia­ti­ve of an in-house pro­ject aimed at youn­ger workers, the sug­ges­ti­on sche­me has now been moder­nis­ed by the works coun­cil, the Per­son­nel Direc­tor and the offi­cer in char­ge of the scheme.

At the heart of this enhan­ce­ment is the intro­duc­tion of new ways in which sug­ges­ti­ons can be made. So far, sub­mis­si­ons have been anony­mous. Now, howe­ver, staff can also con­ta­ct their line mana­gers direct­ly with their ide­as, enab­ling super­vi­sors to find out more about their poten­ti­al and nur­tu­re them in a tar­ge­ted man­ner. If the mana­ger rejects the sug­ges­ti­on, they still for­ward it to the eva­lua­ti­on com­mit­tee to review the decisi­on. Alter­na­tively, the employee can sub­mit his or her recom­men­da­ti­on for impro­ve­ment direct­ly to the com­mit­tee or, as befo­re, make his or her con­tri­bu­ti­on anonymously.

Every sug­ges­ti­on adop­ted is imple­men­ted and rewar­ded in the form of a bonus pay­ment lin­ked to the cost saving expec­ted or to a points sys­tem. And con­tri­bu­tors don’t need to re-invent the wheel to have a pro­spect of suc­cess: the cru­cial fac­tor is whe­ther the cur­rent situa­ti­on is impro­ved. Klasmann-Deilmann also wis­hes to put the new sys­tem in place at its sites out­side Ger­ma­ny, not only to crea­te addi­tio­nal ways of sub­mit­ting ide­as but to pro­mo­te dia­lo­gue about inno­va­ti­on in general.