Encouraging employee ideas from all corners of your company is a really valuable resource to drive innovation. Gathering ideas from your employees will not only increase the level of engagement but also capture innovative ideas to take action on. Turn your employees into innovators and make your company face the future - faster.
Start with a problem
Now, you are probably thinking; I am already fed up with more problems than I can handle. Well, here's your knight in shining armor telling you that you don't have to be the one with all the answers. But I can guarantee that someone has a solution.
If an idea doesn't solve a problem, it isn't a solution. Asking your organization for ideas that can address significant challenges for the company will get relevant ideas where you can take action.
Be as open as you possibly can. When everyone feels that you can be transparent with challenges, goals, opinions, and decisions, you will earn the trust of everyone in the organization.
Let everyone take part in sharing as much information as possible and make everyone engage in each other's ideas. Doing that will give you a better chance to get ideas from people who otherwise wouldn't care.
Meeting with many people to brainstorm out loud is generally a terrible idea, and it's still a mystery why that structure has stayed for so long.
People are different, so they need different amounts of time and different environments to be creative. If you want to engage people in a group, be sure to let them all take their time to be creative and, maybe, even give the introverts a chance to share their thoughts after the loud ones have left.
An even better method is to have a digital platform where everyone can create ideas and engage in the ideas of colleagues.
Simplify the process to engage
It would be great to have a complete business case for every idea when it's submitted. But forcing people to fill out a business case, or even a lengthy form, every time they have an idea will yield only a fraction of the possible ideas.
Make it as easy as possible for an employee to submit an idea, letting the business case be part of a later stage of your ideation or innovation funnel.
Let everyone take part
If you want great innovation in your organization, you cannot depend on a small number of people engaging. The best idea for your future business could come from an intern, an assistant in your finance department, as well as the CEO. Letting everyone take part will strongly increase the chance of finding the right solution for your problem or challenge.
Share good examples
In a company, it's not always easy to know where ideas are coming from or what ideas would be OK to present. Sharing good examples of ideas and people who have helped the company move forward or solve a specific problem will make all the employees feel they, too, could contribute to improving the company.