Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Engagement in Orlando

The center of employee engagement next week is in Orlando. The EIA Conference will focus on different components of involvement, engagement and channeling the tremendous resource each company has in the ideas of its employees to improve processes and enhance productivity.

Interested? Click here for the conference brochure. You can still register... or just show up at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, September 16 - 19, 2008.

Can't come? As part of EIA's commitment to green, we're posting the handouts here for participants to download in advance.

Some interesting presentations scheduled include:
  • Using Statistics to Benchmark your Program - EIA publishes the most comprehensive collection of employee engagement statistics. This session focuses on how you can use this document, available to all EIA members at no extra charge, to improve your program
  • Baldrige Award Winners in Health Care - Thursday sessions feature two award winning health care providers: Mercy Health System in Wisconsin and Premier, Inc.
  • Employee Engagement - New Wine in Old Bottles and Turning Data into Meaningful Actions - these two concurrent sessions by Sharon Parker, Senior Consultant and Director of Research and Consulting Services, Foresight Group, a division of Lightspeed Research address employee engagement from a different perspective.

Questions? Call EIA at 937.586.3724.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Engaging Employees

At the recent board of directors meeting of the Employee Involvement Association, there was discussion about the evolution of programs. Initially, companies had suggestion programs, where the emphasis was on the "suggestion box".

As these programs have grown to be more sophisticated, collecting data electronically and working towards including a large number of employees, there was a change in thinking. This change was mirrored when the National Association of Suggestion Systems (NASS) changed its name to the Employee Involvement Association (EIA).

The next stage of evolution is towards employee engagement. There is growing understanding that an employee that is actively engaged in a business is more likely to be successful, actively contribute - not just suggestions in a formal sense, but also to the daily efforts to improve the wellbeing of the organization.

This change is reflected on the front page of the EIA Website:

EIA members are leaders who are dedicated to building organizations that engage their employees, encouraging them to contribute to their organizations at many levels and many ways.

Employee Involvement is the keystone of organization development, nurturing the engagement and empowerment of people.

EIA is committed to increasing organization effectiveness through the imagination of employees.

Does your company reflect the evolution of employee involvement, striving for ways to engage and empower their employees? If so, let us know by your comments and by completing the survey to the right.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We're Looking for some Great Ideas!

Employee Involvement is the keystone of organizational development, nurturing the engagement and empowerment of people.

EIA is committed to increasing organizational effectiveness through the imagination of employees. There are a broad range of companies who understand that their employees have the skills and ideas to help make their companies more productive and profitable.

EIA's annual Awards Program specifically recognizes the creativity of employees and offers awards that honor outstanding Ideas of the Year as well as recognizing the role leadership plays in promoting employeeinvolvement.

The Employee Involvement Association is opening up its prestigious idea of the year program to non-member companies. By participating in this program, an organization can:
· Garner international recognition for employees who are engaged in developing award-winning ideas that help their organizations increase productivity, and improve productivity
· Provide a showcase for employee innovation
· Benchmark your organization's efforts in a way to provide important information to further improve your employee involvement program

This program is a useful way to reward your company's suggesters on a national scale. Gold finalists are invited to attend the EIA Conference in Orlando, 17 - 19 September, 2008. While there, they have the opportunity to showcase their award-winning suggestion to the conference participants with a table-top display and to make a brief presentation to the judges. The top Ideas of the Year will be recognized at the Awards Event on Thursday evening, 18 September.

Entry deadline is 30 April 2008. Click here to access the Awards packet, including entry descriptions and requirements, forms and instructions. Click here for the entry form (included in the Awards packet.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

EIA Statistical Report… and how it can help you!

For the first time, the EIA Statistical Report is being opened to non-members. This report is the only compilation of employee involvement program outcomes available -- and includes international as well as US based companies.

What’s in it for you?

  • The EIA Statistical Report asks for information that you need to know about your program to effectively manage it – and, provides meaningful information about your program to your management team.
  • This information can then help you measure – benchmark – how well your organization is doing compared to others in your industry sector, or in similar sectors.
  • When you receive the Statistical Report in summer 2008, take some time to compare your results to others – and then, think about areas in which you could improve for 2008. You’ll be able to see how other organizations are doing – and can use the list of contacts to talk to other EIA members directly.
  • National recognition for your program. EIA presents Performance Achievement Awards to companies that have a high rate of participation (over 80%) or suggestions submitted per 100 employees is over 100.
  • EIA also presents SEER AWARDS for Savings per Eligible Employee Ratio. This is calculated by taking Annual Net Savings Dollars divided by number of eligible employees.

Take a look at some of the outstanding results from 2006:

Company / Savings per 100 Eligible Employees
Lockheed Martin-Systems Integration-Owego /$5,577,582
General Motors – Shreveport Assembly / $396,134
Grote Industries, LLC / $358,511

The EIA Statistical Survey is available for you to review and prepare your information for inputting. Once you have collected your data, use the link in the Survey document to go to the website to enter your data.

If you have questions about the Statistical Report process, please feel free to contact us at eia@meinet.com and we’ll try to answer your questions promptly.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Where do Good Ideas Come From?

This topic was explored at the EIA Annual Conference last month in Nashville by Larry Truax, Grote Industries. Successful Employee involvement programs include employees who are

•On the Scene
•Doing the Work
•Working Hands-on
•Trained to Use Analytical Tools
•Experienced in the Process

And who have

•Been Asked
•Been Empowered
•Been Coached
•Been Engaged in the Process
•Used Analytical Tools
•Are Provided Incentives

Here are three ways that employees can look at your company's current procedures and processes to generate good ideas:

Competitive Benchmarking
•Examine the product
•Dissect the product
•Examine Materials
•Look at product features
•Determine production methods

Price or Cost Targeting
•Examine Bill of Materials
•Look at Alternative Materials
•Look at Alternative Processes

Problem Solving
•Customer Complaint
•Warranty Issue
•Product Quality Issue
•Scrap Reports
•Product Rework
•Process Improvement

For more information about employee involvement, go to www.eianet.org.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Overall Idea of the Year Award Winner - Honda of America

The Overall Idea of the Year Winner was a glass sealer tip submitted by Anthony Blamer, Steven Augenstein, and John Ayer of Honda of America. The winners are seen here with LaVerne Holland, chair, EIA Conference and Adrienne Finley-Plummer, judge of the Idea of the Year (at the podium).
The group looked at the problem of water leaks around window openings at the start/stop point of the sealer bead, then redesigned the sealer application tip. The result was an 85% reduction in leaks and downtime and 100% reduction in failures at the dealer. Here's how the idea came about, in their own words:

We were experiencing an excessive amount of water leaks around the fixed window openings due to the poor quality of starVstop (knit) point of the glass sealer bead. To countermeasure these water leaks we wanted to redesign the tip that was being used to apply the sealer.
After three different designs were tested we found that the final design worked best. This design uses a leading edge opening half the area of the trailing edge. This design showed improvements over all other designs.
In addition to the new sealer tip, a mastic regulator was installed to better control the flow rate of the sealer and eliminate the pulsing created by the Johnstone piston pump.
How does your company recognize outstanding ideas that save money, increase productivity and enhance your profitability? The Employee Involvement Association has an awards program that provides validation for your company's best ideas. For more information on EIA's awards program go to http://www.eianet.org/awards. The competition opens in January 2008 for ideas successfully implemented in 2007. The award entry deadline is April 30, 2008.. but it's not too early to start thinking about this now!

The best ideas...

Competing businesses often run on a level playing field: they can grow their companies by borrowing capital, hiring from the same experienced personnel pool, and expanding their locations. Where the advantage lies is ideas generated from within. As rubber giant Harvey Firestone said: "If you have ideas…there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life."

The internationally recognized, non-profit Employee Involvement Association (EIA) values employees and ideas and each year recognizes the originators of the most significant ideas implemented in the previous calendar year. A rigorous competition has brought these individuals, organizations and ideas into the spotlight:
The Overall Idea of the Year Winner was a glass sealer tip submitted by Anthony Blamer, Steven Augenstein, and John Ayer of Honda of America. The group looked at the problem of water leaks around window openings at the start/stop point of the sealer bead, then redesigned the sealer application tip. The result was an 85% reduction in leaks and downtime and 100% reduction in failures at the dealer.

The Individual Idea of the Year Award was earned by Edward W. Sitarski, PE, MS of Grote Industries, LLC. His vision replaces manual terminal connector LED production with automation production that provides plug-and-play hardware interchange, graphical system monitoring and interfacing, quick-change capability, broad product adaptability, and enhanced quality control. It will increase efficiency, and reduce part cost, inventory and time to ship.

The Team Idea of the Year Award went to a group at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control – Dallas for an idea that reduced costs by 95.5%. Prior to this idea, employees in the stockroom individually counted and kitted fasteners into ESD bags. Now, assembly kits are released to the floor without hardware. Operators use their bench top bins to install hardware and then replenish their bins when empty from a conveniently close "hardware wall."

Other finalists recognized in the Idea of the Year competition included Dubai Aluminium Company Ltd / A.S. Jamshed, O.C. Thomas Jacob, J.G. Rocaberte, F.O. Boyles and P.P Silvosa; Dubai World / Jifry Cottage Pareethu Kutty Jifry, Pulukool Premavalsalan and Romeo T. Dacanay; Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control/ Mario De La Cruz; Satyam Computer Services, Ltd./ Chandra Sekhar Dasaka; Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control – Ocala/ Tom Martin; and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control – Orlando/ Technical Services Team.

EIA also presented these awards for 2007: Advocate of the Year: Susan Giliberti, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, NY; Evaluator of the Year: Chandra Sekhar Dasaka, Satyam Computer Services, Ltd., FL; Executive Leadership Award: Tom Moser, Micro Motion, Inc.; Program Administrator of the Year: Brigadier Satish Bahuguna, Satyam Computer Services, Ltd.; and Communication Excellence Award: Performance Management Team Office, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

Sponsors for the event included BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, MetroParks of the Toledo Area, Dubai Aluminium, General Motors and the Social Security Administration.

The Employee Involvement Association serves professional managers and administrators of employee involvement and suggestion programs and has been in operation for 65 years. It is estimated that its member organizations receive more than 250,000 suggestions per year.