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Calling All Ideas

 

This story from the company’s March 1978 Soundings magazine showcases the results of an ideas contest, and proves that no form of innovation is too small to make a difference at Pacific Life.



  • Cindy Woods, Clerical Specialist in Policy Services, submitted an idea to the Ideas and Answers Committee
  • Woods designed a form that enables personnel to use assorted policy numbers for accounting entries, which saved on key tape time, clerical time, and eliminated unnecessary paper waste

Cindy Woods received the top prize for her suggestion to streamline a form in Policy Services. Pacific Life Archives
Cindy Woods received the top prize for her suggestion to streamline a form in Policy Services.
Pacific Life Archives


The program really gives an employee motivation to get involved because it proves somebody is listening. If management is willing to spend money for ideas, they really must want to make PM an even better place to work." Cindy Woods, Policy Services

Cindy Woods, Clerical Specialist in Policy Services, was more than just a bit surprised when the Ideas and Answers Committee decided to present her with an additional $150 for an idea which had netted her $50 last May.

“I just can’t believe it,” [Woods said]. “The program really gives an employee motivation to get involved because it proves somebody is listening. If management is willing to spend money for ideas, they really must want to make PM an even better place to work.”

Woods designed a form now used in Policy Services which enables personnel to use assorted policy numbers for accounting entries. This saves on key tape time, clerical time, and eliminates unnecessary paper waste.…

The Ideas and Answers program gives employees an opportunity to make suggestions about improving operations or to ask questions about how or why the company functions as it does. An impartial committee of five employees was set up to screen all signed suggestions, comments and questions and to respond to them.…

The three top award winners for 1977 were Cindy Woods, Pat Misa, Policy Services, who earned $175, and Carole Owen, Agency, who received $150 for her suggestion.

Misa was concerned with the time that clerks expended tearing off an extra three inches of paper on the Limited Status form. This was done in order to make it of equal length to other forms it would eventually be stapled to. She suggested eliminating this extra paper, thereby saving time and extra paper cost for the company.

Owen recommended paying all group, group pension, and MPT broker commissions through an automatic check writing system. She estimated this would result in a time savings of 12 days per month in Agency and 24 hours in Payroll. The idea was accepted and implemented as an interim system until the new group commission system is installed sometime mid-year 1978.

These three suggestions generated a first-year savings of approximately $6,700 and an annual savings of about $3,200 thereafter.