During times of mass disruption, it is important to keep employees engaged. Their engagement and participation will act as the base for a successful drive in innovation. Collaboration is needed for the development of ideas and this can only be achieved through an engaged employee base. Also, a larger number of ideas increases the chances of finding the right solution for your organization sooner. However, it can be difficult to drive change for the benefit of your organization when the external environment is filled with uncertainty. This blog aims to provide ways in which you can engage your employees and drive innovation during times of change.
Establish an innovation process that engages employees
Establishing a process for gathering employees’ ideas is the first step to engaging them in your innovation process. However, it is not as simple as saying ‘we want your ideas’. Employees will be hesitant to come forward if there is no detailed approach to the progression of their ideas, and this is often the issue with closed loop systems like email or Excel sheets – they lack transparency. Employees will submit their ideas and never hear or see any development on them until the solution has been implemented. This leaves them feeling as though they are out of the loop and that their contributions have been ignored. Explaining the progression of ideas and how the submissions will be treated sets realistic expectations for when employees should expect to hear feedback and enables them to be involved in the continued development.
Moreover, the transparency that is demonstrated by the innovation process must also extend to your reasoning behind innovating. During periods of uncertainty, employees may be hesitant to embrace or drive change. Providing detail on the change the organization’s wishes to achieve will support in easing any concerns. In order to do this you must be clear on the following;
- What are you wanting change?
- Why are you wanting to change it?
- What outcomes are your wanting to achieve?
Ensuring that the answers to these questions are documented helps employees see the benefit of change, whilst also acting as a good reference point when it comes to reviewing the success of your innovation activity.
Alongside this, having a centralized space to collect spur-of-the-moment ideas will help keep employees engaged whilst they work remotely. Whilst they are adapting to change themselves, they may find that they have new ideas to contribute in order to improve this transition period. Having a central place to submit them ensures they are not lost and promotes collaboration as others can help develop them if they are experiencing the same thing, creating a more connected workplace.
Engaging employees by understanding motivation
Understanding what motivates your employees to support your organization is another key factor to maintaining and growing engagement during times of change. The factors that control this fall into two categories extrinsic and intrinsic motivators.
Employees who are motivated more by extrinsic factors will be doing something in hopes of a reward, whilst employees motivated by intrinsic factors will participate due to enjoyment of the activity or the desire to learn a new skill. Aligning your process to ensure that employees are accommodated no matter what motivates them will ensure larger adoption numbers in regard to your innovation activity. Creating a reward and recognition scheme that can be aligned to innovation activities and attracts those that are motivated by extrinsic factors as well as those motivated by intrinsic factors.
During periods of disruption, change has to happen rapidly and organizations can find it difficult to create these new processes at the same pace. edison365ideas enables organizations to quickly establish an innovation process that engages and leverages ideas from employees. In a centralized and transparent hub, drive innovation from the top-down with the ability to post challenges and give in-depth explanations around the desired outcomes. Rapidly provide feedback with the configurable triage function and have your employees compare ideas against the KPIs that matter to your organization. Finally, engage them no matter what motivates them with gamification; configure the points system so that they earn as they innovate and create an array of awards to match their motivators.