Now that we have covered the first two major stages of your idea management programme implementation – leveraging the crowd and instilling a sustainable culture of innovation – in this post we are going to explore employee engagement. Your employees represent a wealth of valuable ideas and because they play a major role in your innovation programme, overlooking their innovative capability can be a great mistake. Effectively promoting and managing employee engagement will help you to radically improve your innovation culture, your transparency and of course, your image.
Your employees are a great resource for creativity, differentiation and thus, competitive advantage. Make sure all of them are fully involved in your idea management programme and that the culture of innovation is embraced across all business units and departments. After all, your employees are your greatest brand ambassadors – once they are wrapped in the organisation’s innovation culture they are the ones who will make it ongoing and sustainable.
Follow these simple steps to easily enhance engagement, motivation and consolidation:
Explain what innovation represents and how it is going to help your organisation as a whole and each employee individually.
Communicate clear, realistic goals and values to your employees.
Promote innovation and the use of your idea and innovation management tools; organise an internal communications campaign to spread the word.
Allow time for your employees to immerse themselves in the organisation’s innovation culture.
Identify key users, innovation drivers, decision-makers, area experts and thought leaders.
Create teams, communities and conversations to group content and activity around defined topics.
Encourage interaction and discussion around ideas and suggestions.
Gamify the idea management process by rewarding the most active and efficient ideators.
Listen to your employees and discuss their approaches to innovation.
Allow time for them to share and develop ideas. The best ideas often need time to grow.
Give regular feedback, recognise all contributors and reward the best ones.
Show them the results of their contribution.
Don’t forget to celebrate success and implementation with your employees!
It is important that employees understand that no idea is wrong and that all ideas should be shared, no matter how small. Next week we will show you why small ideas can make a significant difference in your innovation programme.