Research: Employee Engagement in the Innovation Process

by Eugene Ivanov and Doug Williams

Research: Employee Engagement in the Innovation ProcessLast August, we introduced the key theme of the next IX Research report: the role employee engagement plays in the innovation process. We started with a premise that innovation thrives in organizations that have established a culture of innovation. But what exactly does “a culture of innovation” mean? We hypothesized that an indispensable element of this culture is employee engagement: for innovation programs to succeed, organizations must ensure employee participation in these programs.

Organizations that Take Innovation Seriously Begin by Establishing a Structure

A survey of our global innovation panel shows that organizations that take innovation seriously, i.e. consider it as their top or top-3 priority, choose to establish formal innovation programs as a way to organize innovation process (Source: IX Research Survey, Q3 2014). Moreover, our report provides evidence that such formal innovation programs improve corporate performance.

Figure: Innovation programs are more common in companies that prioritize innovation

Source: IX Research Survey, Q3 2014

One of the components of actively managed innovation programs is encouraging employee participation, and the most common way of achieving this goal is through incentivizing employees to take part in innovation activities. This 22-page report is loaded with data that offers insight into which specific forms of incentives, both monetary and non-monetary, can be used, and also which metrics organizations can utilize to track employee engagement.

However, the most important question is this: does incentivizing employee engagement in innovation programs have any effect on their efficiency?” Our report identifies outcomes of the innovation process that do benefit from such incentives.

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image credit: http://www.edelman.com/

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Internal Innovation Networks - foundation for successEugene Ivanov is innovation management consultant helping organizations establish and implement internal and external innovation programs. He also assists them in selecting and defining R&D problems that can be successfully solved by using crowdsourcing approaches. He tweets at @eugeneivanov101 and writes the blog Innovation Observer


Announcing IX Research: Research for Innovation PractitionersDoug Williams, Chief Research Officer and Principal Analyst, leads the development of IX Research. Doug is the primary author of IX Research‘s syndicated research reports, and is responsible for the development of the IX Research Panel and IX Custom Research lines of business. A former analyst at Forrester Research and JupiterResearch, he launched and led Forrester’s innovation and co-creation practice for product strategy professionals. He authored 36 highly rated Forrester Research reports on innovation, open innovation, and co-creation, and was the primary author and developer of Forrester’s Open Innovation playbook. Doug tweets from @DougWilliamsMHD