Have a Great Idea at Work? Getting Superiors to Approve Your Suggestions

Do you have a great idea for your company? Perhaps you’ve thought of a way to save on expenses or speed up production. Conversely, maybe you’ve already submitted an idea and had it rejected. Most managers encourage feedback and ideas from employees and staff members. However, even good ideas can be rejected if they are not presented correctly. Time is money, and for managers, if the idea doesn’t spark immediate interest while proving a certain amount of worth, your good idea may be discarded.

Getting Superiors to Approve Your Ideas - professional man and woman speaking

Unfortunately, the majority of ideas presented by employees are never implemented. In his article, “10 Ways to get Your Boss to Support Your Ideas”, leadership expert, Dan McCarthy stated, “I’d compare [the chances that management will accept your idea] to baseball. A 300 average (three ideas implemented out of ten) and you’re an all-star.”

However, before submitting your next great idea to your superiors, here are some tips to help ensure that your suggestions will have a greater chance of crossing the threshold into realization.

Tips for suggesting ideas to managers

  1. Research thoroughly. Before even thinking about going to your supervisor or manager, make sure your idea is thoroughly researched from every possible angle. Are other companies implementing something similar, and if so, how is it working?
  2. Know key personnel. As you develop a plan to reveal a new idea, it would be beneficial to first understand the personality or leanings of the person or people to whom you’ll be presenting and direct the presentation towards those individual(s). For example, a manager with an analytical sense will want to see charts, graphs and figures, while a more intuitive type of manager may prefer to hear the information verbally, as it relates to the facts.
  3. FOMO can be a powerful incentive. The “Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, is a common mindset which may actually work to your advantage while highlighting ideas being presented to management. While most companies will be hesitant to risk their reputations on new ideas without a fail-safe guarantee of success, they will also consider certain risks to avoid being surpassed by their competitors.
  4. List the benefits. How is this new idea going to benefit the manager and the company? Obviously, employees may have plenty of ideas and suggestions to help ease their own working burdens, but a manager will want to see how it will affect their job duties and the company as a whole. Will this new idea provide financial gain or savings, and if so, in what ways? Will it require hiring more employees or laying any off? Does it enhance production times?
  5. Conduct an experiment first. Find a way to conduct an experiment and use the results as part of your presentation. An experiment is a great way to show your plan in action while providing valuable facts and information that a verbal presentation on its own wouldn’t likely be able to accomplish.

Getting Superiors to Approve Your Ideas - woman presenting graph

Ideas and suggestions are usually welcomed by upper management. However, remember that the majority of suggestions are never implemented, so don’t be discouraged if an idea isn’t accepted: Instead, concentrate not only on building upon and improving your idea, but solidifying its presentation as well.

Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200