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.


ideasUK shares Secrets to Successful Ideas Schemes

What benefits does having a suggestion scheme bring, to both employers and employees?

The benefits to the employee are that it gives them a voice in the business and allows them to have an outlet for their creativity and to make a change to their working environment. For the employer it encourages a culture of innovation that can lead to sharing of best practice and a reduction in costs to the business therefore more efficient working and increased employee satisfaction.

It is well documented that organisations who listen to employees and act on suggestions developed become an employer of choice with a more motivated and happy workforce.

What is the best way to incentivise staff to take part in a scheme?

There are two schools of thought around incentivising staff to take part in the programme. Old school thinking was that you had to reward or ‘bribe’ people to take part in the scheme; however, this encouraged wrong behaviours within the organisation. In a well managed ideas programme, employees feel proud of the fact that they are taking part in something which can benefit both themselves and the organisation. Continue reading

Free eBook download – How to Start a Staff Suggestion Scheme

ideasUK are offering a free eBook introducing the basic ideas on how organisations can initiate a Staff Suggestion Scheme. We have compiled our blog posts on the subject into one easy to read eBook for you to download. Continue reading

Good Luck to all the Students out there!

Good luck to all the students out there who have visited our site over the past few weeks, I can only assume that some business papers this year have either Maslow or Employee Engagement as a topic!

Please feel free to look around our site and use any information you need, however, please do not forget to credit us as a source of your information.

Best of luck and we hope to meet some of you as managers in the future.

Staff Suggestion Schemes, Ideas Management, Employee Engagement, Ideas Programmes, Suggestion Schemes, Innovation Programmes – what do they mean?

All these terms, for ideasUK, mean the same thing, taking ideas from your employees and using them to develop your business. They can be simple ideas, like a new tool to do a job more easily, to big ideas which can change the world. The ideas can impact a business on many fronts: technologically, environmentally, financially, with health and safety, communications and so on. The business can benefit financially from these ideas, both on a basic level; increased profits, raised productivity and less obviously through reduced staff turnover. Employees can feel a greater sense of recognition and being part of the company – so it’s win win. Continue reading