The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leavenworth Army post in Kansas is striving to make Lean Six Sigma part of their culture. Part of their project selection process is taking employee suggestions. Suggestions for improvement have been hard to come by since Lean Six Sigma joined the Army. Employees feared improvement would mean downsizing.

But thanks to a new suggestion incentive program (and a commitment to no downsizing) suggestions for improvements are up:

    The Garrison’s Lean Six Sigma Tiger Team formulated a reward system for civilian, military and contract employees. The reward corresponds with the success of the idea. For example, a civilian who suggests an idea that saves $2,600 could get an 8-hour time-off reward.


Employees who make suggestions can then track the fruits of their brilliant ideas via a tracking system. This kind of reward system can go a long way.

Jennifer Stefano, management analyst, says it best, “Everybody knows what to do to improve their job; making it relevant was the key.” A free day off work is more than relevant, it’s awesome. Who in their right mind wouldn’t be making suggestions like crazy?

So what does your company do to reward employees for making process improvement suggestions? A day off, a gift certificate, or a pat on the back?

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