How Idea Sharing Fosters Workplace Innovation

Scott Johnson by

There is no “i” in team. This commonly referenced phrase reminds us that teamwork is a collaborative effort, and it’s the perfect mantra for the workforce. Possibilities are endless when colleagues work together, versus working alone, to solve problems and complete projects.

An established idea share program is an efficient method for leaders to tap into their team’s valuable feedback. Idea share platforms take brainstorming up a notch by increasing the practice’s effectiveness through an organized, trackable model.

A major de-motivator for employees is feeling like their ideas don’t count and that nobody at the top is listening. Idea sharing directly combats that sentiment.

Leaders – The Frontline Knows More than You

CEOs understand the simple, day-to-day operations of their firm, but they are not entirely engrossed in the gritty details. In stark contrast, frontline employees witness the good, the bad and the ugly. As a result, their feedback is the key to understanding how the company can efficiently and effectively operate.

When executives consider their frontline employees’ perspectives, they see benefits. Trusting employees with an opportunity to take risks and assess troubled areas in the business increases the company’s overall performance.

The Best Innovation Occurs when Ideas are Social

When execs establish a timeline for the idea share process, employees can start sharing their thoughts. Leadership should stay involved through the entire process by posting comments, praise and new ideas.

When good ideas are submitted, there is an opportunity not just to act and compliment, but to allow people who’ve volunteered to participate in an internal side project. These are huge motivators to the employee base.

Drive Innovation By Asking Open-Ended Questions

Treat the idea share process like a news interview. Reporters receive the best answers when they ask thoughtful, open-ended questions. For example, “How can we reduce sales friction?”

Asking questions in this format generates innovative responses that lead to a stronger solution. It also creates interesting conversations and debates between employees and leadership.

I want employees to think and act like owners. I don’t want them to just put their head down and work. I want them to break down silos, to think about the business, and to contribute in a meaningful way.

Remember to Say Thank You

The team spared their time and effort to work on a solution, now it’s time to say thank you.

CEOs, along with management, should provide feedback during the idea share process. They should recognize the employees who contributed to the final solution. This small act instantly improves employee engagement. It also boosts morale, which leads to an awesome company culture.

A career highlight is likely going to be the opportunities you provide that go beyond normal duties. They are craving this right now.

The interesting thing is that when your employees are given an opportunity to contribute, they don’t slack in their normal jobs, they work harder. Even nights and weekends, when it’s something they have a stake in.

The entire idea share process inspires innovation and relationship building in the office, which leads to a satisfied workplace.

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