What do you mean by “Representations” and “Suggestions” within an Organisation?
Given below are some examples of various types of representations:
1. An employee requesting for a transfer to his native place
2. A branch manager making a representation to the personnel department asking for additional staff for his branch
3. An officer making a representation for a promotion for which he has been overlooked
4. A section head making a representation for more office space
5. A branch manager making a representation for change in business hours on account of computerization
6. A branch manager sending a representation to his regional manager for shifting the branch to a better locality
7. A branch manager of a bank representing to the head office to consider upward revision in term deposit interest rates
8. A group of villagers making a representation to the bank’s head office requesting a branch in their village
9. A salesperson making a representation to his employer requesting a two-wheeler
10. A research officer representing to the editorial department of the organization to put his name on the mailing list for all publications and newsletters
As can be seen from the above mentioned indicative list, the objective of the representation is to seek a particular benefit or a course of action. What is essential here is to provide all relevant information in support of the request or case being made out for consideration by the authority to which it is addressed.
Suggestion, on the other hand, refers to a theory or plan proposed for acceptance or rejection. Suggestions can be oral or written. Suggestions may be made by the staff members, managers, customers or anyone interacting with the organization. Suggestions, to be taken up for consideration, should be clear and specific.
They should bring out clearly the proposal, plan or idea that is being conveyed for consideration and acceptance. Suggestions may be formal or informal.
Several organizations put in place formal suggestion schemes with built-in incentives for the benefit of their employees. Progressive organizations design and implement ‘Employee Suggestion Schemes’ whereby employees are exhorted to contribute suggestions relating to various functional areas.
Incentives and prizes are awarded for accepted suggestions. Organizations encourage not only their staff members but also the customers to make suggestions on various matters of concern to them for they help in improving their overall functioning.
It is necessary to be well informed about the subject concerned before making an acceptable suggestion. To be acceptable, a suggestion should be accompanied with an idea or a proposal that is well substantiated.
By its very nature, a suggestion is a voluntary effort. The person making the suggestion, in doing so, is taking some extra initiative to come out with ideas or thoughts. The receiver may accept the suggestion or reject it, depending upon its merit and other relevant considerations.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that the receiver acknowledges the suggestion. Since the organization benefits from the suggestions received, especially when they
are accepted, the person making the suggestion deserves an acknowledgement or intimation.
The person should also be informed about the reasons for not accepting it if it is not accepted. Whenever it is accepted, of course, a nice letter intimating the same is to be sent out.
Some of the common areas in which suggestions are made in a business organization are as follows:
1. Design of new schemes and services
2. Changes in systems and procedures
3. Work simplification
4. Measures aimed at cost reduction
5. Changes in stationery and forms
6. Changes in personnel polices
7. Naming of new products
One probable difference between a representation and a suggestion is that quite often there is some self-interest involved in making a representation, whereas a suggestion may benefit the organization and may not involve any direct benefit to the person making it.