EMPLOYEE SUGGESTIONS: Industry Turns the Gripes into Gold

FOR years, the suggestion box was little more than an office gag—a handy receptacle for notes telling the boss to kindly drop dead. But in U.S. industry employee suggestions are no longer a joking matter. Since World War II. the battered old suggestion box has blossomed into one of U.S. industry's best sources of production-boosting ideas and one of its biggest money-savers. Last year some 4,000 companies (with organized suggestion programs) got more than two million ideas from employees, found 20% of them worth adopting and paid out something like $15 million...

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