Each company or organization sets up a Vocoli "instance" to generate surveys, to build a suggestion box, and to connect with the team.
Which one of these is you?
Does your company have an employee ideas program? Are you getting any? And more importantly, are you getting ideas that are showing a return on time and investment? Unfortunately, too often organizations start ideas programs with good intentions, only to see participation and idea volumes fall off a cliff. This results in resentment and frustration.
Unless your leadership team is committed to a drastic change in approach, your best bet may be to simply cancel the program as quietly as possible and walk away. By failing to operate the program in good faith, you could be doing more harm than good (essentially saying, “we really don’t want input from our employees”).
It is pretty obvious that innovation powers our modern knowledge economy. Innovation has become the main focal point of companies large and small, and has even led to the creation of popular shows like NBC's Shark Tank. But the question remains – how does one facilitate this innovation? Given that good ideas lie in abundance with a company’s employees, what is the best route for turning them into reality?
For large and highly bureaucratic industrial firms, the idea of fast paced innovation may seem far fetched. But as manufacturing giant Alcoa proved, seeking insights from employees can help to increase safety, streamline innovation and, in turn, create a far more profitable and successful organization.
When thinking about what is most important in a thriving technology company, innovation or investment, there is almost a chicken or the egg debate in the works. One company that has always been known for being the cornerstone of innovation and calculated risk is Apple. While Apple has been quite profitable since its humble beginnings in a garage in 1976, they have made a few head-scratching choices over the last few months.
From a young age, many of us were programmed to learn one way, through lecture. Education has long been a one-way street which often causes confusion, frustration and missed opportunities. Unfortunately, this structure has also carried on to the Modern American workplace. Bosses instruct, employees obey. But, is there a better alternative?
Successful companies have always been concerned with the image that their brand and corporate values portray to the public. Everything from sustainable business practices, to sourcing ethical products and fair treatment of their talent has now fallen under the microscope. Because of this, keeping employees happy is no longer important just for the internal success of an organization, but for the public opinion of your company as well. A lesson learned the hard way, by one of America's favorite coffee brands . . .
Although it doesn't take away the sting, one hard truth every competitor realizes sooner or later is that you learn more in defeat than you do in victory. This is a lesson no harder learned than for companies like Kodak, who blatantly ignored the direction of the film industry following overwhelming success.
Over the last ten years or so there has been a shift in focus within large organizations from viewing employees as a by-product of doing business to an actual asset to the organization. This was a huge change in perspective because assets are managed in a much different way.
While having "Experts" is crucial to any organization's success, it is important to make certain that they are not the only driving force behind the creation of the systems and processes of the company. Front-line employees, who will actually be utilizing the tools being created, should always have a hand in the development.
It's not every day you get to present your software to hundreds of innovators and civic leaders at Google's famed Cambridge Office location in Boston but that's exactly what happened last Wednesday.
So you've employed a new employee suggestion program, you've gained your employees buy-in - they're excited, motivated, and suggesting up a storm. Your initial fears of not getting enough suggestions have all been silenced by an overwhelming amount of input - now what? Do you go for a few, big, impactful, out-of-the-park home runs? Or do you play it closer to the plate, and instead shoot for several smaller wins?
In practice, launching an employee suggestion program is only half the battle. Internal communication managers have to promote the program internally to get workers to use it.
Here are 15 tips to help you achieve exactly that:
Promoting the launch of your employee suggestion program is a critical first step to driving engagement.
You should be prepared to promote the launch and use wall signage, internal email newsletters, and company meetings to explain the program to employees, teach them how to use it, and communicate the company’s commitment to the initiative. If you don’t do this, you won’t get employee participation, and without that, you can’t achieve the process for innovation that’ll truly give your company the competitive edge it needs.
But don’t stop there.
One lesson all businesses learn sooner or later is that resources are finite. Running a successful business is mostly prioritizing what needs to get done now, what can wait and who should do it. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out what is the most important action to take.
A potentially rich source of guidance in this regard lies in listening to a product’s users. In many ways, users are more familiar with a product’s strengths and shortcomings than the creators. But how does one feed user knowledge back to the creators?
In recent years, innovation hubs have begun to accelerate American manufacturing processes. Employees who work in the manufacturing industry have a unique knowledge of how everything works and more importantly, how things can improve.
A good internal communications plan is vital for you organization to run smoothly. There are various ways for an organization to make internal communications effective, such as internal newsletters, updates from the CEO, and enterprise social networks. One critical but often overlooked strategy is implementing an employee suggestion program.
Having trouble getting your employee suggestion program off the ground? Let these 15 tips from our customers help guide you.
Where do employee suggestion programs fit into planning? Get your entire team involved in your plan of action for the year to come.
Continuous improvement starts with a top down approach. Small incremental changes can yield big results for an organization.
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