Mark brings up the point that a poorly designed system only leads to frustration on the part of employees. This can be part of a larger problem – learned helplessness. When employees have learned through experience that they can have little impact on the dysfunctional work environment they find themselves in, they give up trying. They view doing so as useless. They withdraw mentally from their work and disengage. I have to believe that this attitude cannot help but impact people’s lives outside of work.
One of the benefits of a good idea system is that it gives employees some control over their work environment – it works to reengage them. Taking Chris’s holistic view of people, improving a person’s work life cannot help but to improve his or her personal life as well.
Does this mean that managers have an ethical responsibility to their people, as well as their company, to keep them engaged and involved at work?