Are one-sided conversations killing your innovation efforts?
You make an effort to hear from your employees. You leave out a suggestion box, hold brainstorming sessions, and make yourself available to hear opinions. But what next?
Are you leaving your employees “hanging” when it comes to their ideas?
One-sided conversations are rarely productive, especially in the case of corporate innovation or improvement. Create a more innovative culture by improving transparency and communication on the following parts of your innovation program.
Provide transparency in your innovation program. From your goals and limitations to the review process and development cycle of new ideas, promote knowledge-sharing company-wide by ensuring everyone has an opportunity to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Don’t forget to make yourself available to answer questions and provide guidance to those who wanted to play a deeper role.
When everyone knows what’s going on behind the scenes, they care about their responsibilities. A strong culture of innovation relies on engaged employees, has a plan in place to make sure they know what’s going on, and how their responsibilities are helping to move the organization forward. They’re also given the opportunity to speak up, share their thoughts, and again provided with feedback on their ideas and performance.
Whether you’re using an idea management software, or the traditional suggestion box, if you’re getting ideas, feedback, or contributions from your employees, don’t just provide a simple “thank you” for their efforts. Go above and beyond in providing them with feedback on their accomplishments (both positive and constructive), and keep them in-the-loop on the status of their projects if they’ve been passed-off to another department for review or development.
Again, transparency is your friend when it comes to creating a culture of innovation. Not only should you be holding conversations on your employees’ ideas, but also providing them with information on your development process, and providing them with opportunities to play a larger role in their development too. While not directly related to knowledge-sharing, those opportunities help to accelerate your development process, and empowers employees to play a role in the evaluation and development of their ideas into real-world products, services, procedures, and more.