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SHRM Poll: Employee Suggestion Programs. November 8, 2010. Key Findings.

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SHRM Poll: Employee Suggestion Programs


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    1. SHRM Poll: Employee Suggestion Programs November 8, 2010

    2. Key Findings • Less than half of organizations have a formal employee suggestion program. About two out of five organizations reported that they have a formal system for employees to submit ideas through a mechanism such as a suggestion box, e-mail or online application. • Who has responsibility for reviewing and responding to employee suggestions? HR was most frequently tapped to review employee suggestions, followed by management-level employees of the department or function area that would be affected by the idea if implemented. The same held true for responding to employees regarding decisions about their suggestions. • What incentives do employees receive for suggesting ideas that are implemented? Employees whose ideas are implemented are most likely to receive recognition at staff meetings and/or in organization communications.

    3. Does your organization have a formal system for employees to submit their suggestions and/or ideas through a mechanism such as a suggestion box, e-mail or online application? Note: n = 517

    4. Does your organization have a formal system for employees to submit their suggestions and/or ideas through a mechanism such as a suggestion box, e-mail or online application? Comparison by Organization’s Sector • Publicly owned for-profit organizations (49%) were more likely than privately owned for-profit organizations (33%) or government agencies (24%) to report that their organizations have a formal system for employees to submit their suggestions and/or ideas.

    5. Are employees encouraged to make suggestions that affect…? • Employees are encouraged to make suggestions that affect their own departments, other departments and the organization as a whole. Note:Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    6. To what extent do employees utilize the organization’s suggestion system? Note:n = 179. Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    7. How often are submitted employee suggestions reviewed? Note:n = 178. Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    8. Who reviews submitted employee suggestions to decide which ones will be implemented? Note:n = 170. Excludes respondents who answered, “N/A, no set review process.” Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    9. Who reviews submitted employee suggestions to decide which ones will be implemented? Comparison by Organization’s Staff Size • Smaller organizations (100 to 499 employees) were more likely than larger organizations (25,000 or more employees)to report that HR reviews submitted employee suggestions (63% and 10%, respectively).

    10. In general, at what point(s) after the suggestion review do employees receive feedback on their suggestions, regardless of whether they are implemented? Note:n = 154. Excludes respondents who answered, “N/A, employees generally do not receive feedback following the review of the suggestion.“ Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    11. Who responds to employees regarding decisions about their submitted suggestions? Note:n = 140. Excludes respondents who answered, “N/A, no set response process.” Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    12. Who responds to employees regarding decisions about their submitted suggestions? Comparison by Organization’s Staff Size and Sector • By Staff Size: Larger organizations (2,500 to 24,999 employees) (50%) were more likely than smaller organizations (100 to 499 employees) (14%) to report that management-level staff in the affected department of function area responded to employees who submitted suggestions. • By Sector: Publicly owned for-profit organizations (47%), privately owned for-profit organizations (36%) and government agencies (44%) were more likely than nonprofit organizations (4%) to report that management-level staff in the affected department of function area responded to employees who submitted suggestions.

    13. What kinds of incentives do employees receive if they make suggestions that are implemented? Note:n = 95. Excludes respondents (75 people total, 44%) who answered, “N/A, employees do not receive incentives for their suggestions." Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis. Percentages do not total 100% due to multiple response options.

    14. What kinds of incentives do employees receive if they make suggestions that are implemented? Comparison by Organization’s Staff Size • By Staff Size: Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) (36%) were more likely than smaller organizations (1 to 99 employees) (14%) to report that employees who make suggestions that are implemented receive merchandise gift cards or other tangible items.

    15. To what extent does…? • Despite nearly one-half of organizations reporting to a large degree or to some degree that their employee suggestion program links to their strategic planning process, most organizations indicated a lack of leadership support for the suggestion program as a critical component of organizational innovation . More than one-third of respondents also believed that a lack of available resources justified not implementing otherwise worthy suggestions. Note:Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    16. If a suggestion is not implemented right away, is it stored in some way for future review? Note: n = 160. Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    17. How often are previously submitted suggestions reviewed again? Note:n = 100. Excludes respondents (38 people total, 28%) who answered, "N/A, previously submitted suggestions are not reviewed again.“The response categories "no set process" and "when a similar idea comes up" were recoded from write-in responses for "other." Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    18. Does your organization track the financial value of implemented suggestions (e.g., cost savings, staff time savings, etc.)? Note: n = 165. Only respondents whose organizations have a formal system for employees to submit suggestions were included in this analysis.

    19. Does your organization track the financial value of implemented suggestions (e.g., cost savings, staff time savings, etc.)? Comparison by Organization’s Staff Size and Operations Location • By Staff Size: Larger organizations (25,000 or more employees) (90%) were more likely than smaller organizations with 1 to 99 employees (39%) or 100 to 499 employees (37%) to report that their organizations track the financial value of implemented suggestions. • By Operations: Organizations with multinational operations (61%) were more likely than organizations with U.S.-based operations (39%) to report that their organizations track the financial value of implemented suggestions.

    20. Demographics: Organization Industry Note: n = 452. Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.

    21. Demographics: Organization Industry (continued) Note: n = 452. Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.

    22. Demographics: Organization Sector Note: n = 440. Excludes other organization sectors.

    23. Demographics: Organization Staff Size Note: n = 353. Percentages do not total 100% due to rounding.

    24. Demographics: Other • Does the organization have U.S.-based • operations (business units) only or • does it operate multinationally? • Is organization a single-unit company or a multi-unit company? Note: n = 427 Note: n = 479 • 15% of organizations indicated that employees at their work location were unionized. • Are HR policies and practices determined by the multi-unit corporate headquarters, by each work location or both? Note: n = 450 Note: n = 319

    25. SHRM Poll: Employees Suggestion Programs Methodology • Response rate = 20% • Sample comprised of 523 HR professionals randomly selected from SHRM’s membership • Margin of error is +/- 4% • Survey fielded October 8–October 22, 2010 For more poll findings, visit: www.shrm.org/surveys Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SHRM_Research