You’ve done the groundwork for creating a successful innovation program. You’ve learned what mistakes to avoid, and even moved forward with adopting innovation management software like Spigit to enable innovation in a way that’s valuable and repeatable. So why aren’t things taking off how you imagined they would?
If you’re still struggling to make the connection between ideas and outcomes, here are 4 things you can do to invigorate your innovation program.
1. Demonstrate Value to the Business
It’s important that the innovation challenges you present to your employees focus on value, either for your customers or the business. As a rule, people can look at a topic and decide very quickly whether or not it’s worthwhile. Engaged employees will spend time on ideas and challenges that are meaningful in terms of moving the business forward or improving the customer experience; shallow or trivial topics will be passed over by both executive sponsors and employees looking to contribute suggestions.
2. Up the Ante on Incentives to Maximize Employee Engagement
If existing prizes and recognition aren’t motivating people to contribute to your innovation program, consider something a little different than gift cards or free coffee for participants with top ideas. Face-time with a senior leader can be an incredible chance for someone to share their ideas directly, pick an expert’s brain, or get career advice. Cash bonuses aren’t a bad idea, either — but whatever you choose, make sure that recognition is a major part of the reward. Studies show that it’s one of the biggest drivers of employee engagement across all industries.
3. Reward Top Commenters, Too
Not everyone is a great ideator. A lot of people need a launching off point to provide their awesome insight, to either expand a suggestion or point it in the right direction. So, be sure that you put your money where your mouth is when it comes to advocating for crowdsourced innovation, and reward those who help turn other people’s good ideas into great outcomes.
4. Close the Loop
People don’t like to offer their opinion only to find out that their involvement was a waste of time. Avoid this pitfall by thanking everyone who participates for their ideas (even if they aren’t selected), communicating the outcome of idea challenges after they close, and providing regular updates as the outcomes of challenges are implemented. It’s important to consistently reaffirm why your innovation program is important and why you need employee participation to make it work.
The good news for Spigit customers is that we help all of our customers get their programs off the ground with our proven templates and success team, because at Spigit, we focus on your success. Find out more.