Department of Homeland Security

Empowers the Transportation Security Administration’s large and dispersed workforce to submit and collaborate on innovative ideas to improve TSA and keep the nation’s transportation systems secure.

IdeaFactory New

May 14, 2010.

The Challenge

IdeaFactory addresses three main challenges at TSA:

  • How TSA can engage employees and ensure that every member of its large (50,000+) workforce at more than 450 airports and other locations has a voice in the way the agency and its operations evolve;
  • How TSA can collect constant, fresh input and perspectives on improvements to keep the agency flexible and effectively mitigate security threats; and
  • How TSA can disseminate information about new and existing programs, initiatives, and policies to front-line employees and provide a forum for communication.

The Solution

IdeaFactory is participatory, collaborative and transparent. It is a website that allows TSA employees to develop, promote, and improve innovative ideas for programs, processes, and technologies and share them directly, without filter, to the entire TSA community.

Employees post ideas, and rate and comment on those that interest them. They participate in two-way communication with agency leadership, TSA program offices, and each other. The IdeaFactory Team reads every idea and evaluates those that are popular or that fit especially well with specific strategic agency goals. Senior Leadership and Program Managers communicate by debunking myths and responding to ideas with specific explanations and details. They also implement ideas as new programs or initiatives within TSA.

The Benefit

Everyone at TSA benefits from the IdeaFactory, from the Acting Administrator to the Senior Leadership Team to every Transportation Security Officer in the smallest airport. Ultimately, the American public benefits through a more innovative and modern agency. Specifically:

  • Employees are engaged and have higher morale because they have a voice and a meaningful way to suggest ideas and provide feedback.
  • Senior Leadership and TSA Program Managers get meaningful input from the workforce and have a reliable way to share information with front-line employees.
  • The traveling public is rewarded with a more secure traveling experience made possible by employees who are engaged and empowered in their jobs.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a scalable, proven tool that is a model for improving employee engagement. That increases agency effectiveness and efficiency, which results in better government.

Additional Details

IdeaFactory has led to the implementation of more than 40 innovative ideas in two years—ideas that have improved TSA culture and operations—including changes to Standard Operating Procedures and new initiatives that have improved job satisfaction, increased retention and improved the quality of work life. To date, there are almost 9,000 ideas on the site and more than 25,000 employees have visited the site.

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