Key Drivers of Successful Implementation of an Employee Suggestion-Driven Improvement Program

I was sent a link to a great peace of work by Harvard University by a friend of ideasUK, Paul Sloane (Destination Innovation) and thought I would share, it is a very interesting piece of work that would be a great starting point to anyone setting up an ideas programme.

Here is an abstract from the paper:

Service organizations frequently implement improvement programs to increase quality. These programs often rely on employees’ suggestions about improvement opportunities. Organizations face a trade-off with such suggestion-driven improvement programs. On one hand, the improvement literature recommends that managers focus organizational resources on surfacing a large number of problems, prioritizing these, and selecting a small set of high priority ones for solution efforts.

The theory is that soliciting a large number of ideas from employees will surface a set of higher priority problems than would have been identified with a less extensive search. Scarce organizational resources can be allocated to resolving the set of problems that provide the greatest improvement in performance. We call this an “analysis-oriented” approach. On the other hand, managers can allocate improvement resources to addressing problems raised by frontline staff, regardless of priority ranking. This “action-oriented” approach enables more resources to be spent on resolving problems because prioritization receives less attention. To our knowledge, this tradeoff between analysis and action in process improvement programs has not been empirically examined.

To fill this gap, we randomly selected 20 hospitals to implement an 18-month long employee suggestion-driven improvement program-58 work areas participated. Our study finds that an action-oriented approach was associated with higher perceived improvement in performance, while an analysis-oriented approach was not.

Our study suggests that the analysis-oriented approach negatively impacted employees’ perceptions of improvement because it solicited, but did not act on, employees’ ideas. We discuss the conditions under which this might be the case.

To download the full paper, follow this link

Full credit for this research goes to Anita L. Tucker and Sara J. Singer and taken from HBS Working Knowledge website.

Of course, ideasUK can help in your quest in launching the ideal engagement programme for your organisation. Contact us today for more information.


Enployee Engagement….The story!

We have now done blog posts on the three speakers at the Engagement Wales event on the 5th July, I thought it would be a good idea to show the story of the day through the tweets of the delegates. Continue reading

I Pledge…

Yesterday we held an Engagement Event in conjunction with the Wales Audit Office in Cardiff. The event was well supported with over 40 delegates attending the day. There were workshops hosted by HSBC, Ricoh and the Ministry of Defence.

Employee Engagement Welcome Address Continue reading

Can Social Media enhance the Ideas Scheme? – Workshop Session Friday 20th January 2012 – Part Two

Part One

James Shewry HSBCCarrying on from Monday’s blog post, we continue the summary of the workshop event based on Social Media and the Ideas Scheme. Following Chris Bolton’s presentation, James Shewry of HSBC then gave an overview of their Ideas Scheme and highlighted the successes delivered since they moved to a social media platform in 2011. This highly informative presentation explained the benefits of allowing employees to collaborate and comment on ideas raised and demonstrated how implemented ideas had increased. Continue reading

Can Social Media enhance the Ideas Scheme? – Workshop Session Friday 20th January 2012 – Part One

Last Friday, HSBC and ideasUK hosted a networking meeting at the HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf, looking at the topic of Social Media and the Ideas Programme. Social Media and Ideas Schemes

The event was well supported by those from both the public and private sector and a great interactive session ensued. Continue reading

ideasUK free Networking Event – 20th January 2012, London – All Welcome

ideasUK are hosting our first networking event of 2012. The theme will be:

Can Social Media enhance Ideas Schemes?

Everyone is welcome to attend including non members of ideasUK to this free event, but places are limited. For more information and to book your place, please email us

Friday 20 January 2012

London, E14

10am – 3pm Continue reading

Events Coming Up

Well not that Christmas and the New Year is over it is time to look at the events coming up in 2010.

Firstly we have a joint networking session with the Best Practice Club in Heysham Lancashire on the 18th March, further details and how to book will be available in the near future.

International Ideas Week is from 10th – 14th this year and once again we will be holding events all over the country. If you would like some promotional material, please contact us at

Even though it is still 11 months away, planning continues for the annual conference which this year takes place in Cardiff on the 10 / 11th November. Booking for this is now open, just contact us for costs and a booking form.

Some other dates for your diary, Idea of the Year entries are to be sent to us by the 30th April. Last year we had over 95 ideas into the competition and the ideas were of a high quality. Entry forms are available in the members area of the website.

The annual survey will be open for input in the next few weeks, we will send you a link to the website when it is available.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information for our event.

Public Sector Networking Event

On the 30th April, we held our first Public Sector / Local Authority networking event in Birmingham. We had speakers from the Identity and Passport Service as well as the District of Easington Council.

The day was spent looking at the different aspects of managing a suggestion scheme and there were group exercises around evaluation and marketing a programme within organisations.  Continue reading