Humans are social beings by nature. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how much we need to socialize with our peers, but it has also brought to light the importance of taking action as a community: the sum of individual actions can truly make the difference.
Applying this to professional environments, belonging to a group is doubly important:
a) as a connection between employees and the organization, and among themselves.
b) as a basis for coordinated action in an organization, to achieve its goals and innovate with the right solutions in uncertain times like these.
To act collectively, however, we need shared codes and motivations among all employees.
Digital communities open to listening to employees and their ideas boost an organization’s capacity for innovation and provide solutions for their future challenges.
Additionally, at a time of disconnection and (often forced) remote working, these communities also behave as a glue that unites the organization and its employees.
And from the perspective of employees, developing listening programs within said communities can do very much for the organization’s value proposal and its retention of internal talent.
In these terms, what can an innovation community offer employees?
- First, it allows them to participate in a common strategic goal (to innovate) that sets the organization apart in the market and makes it more competitive.
- It also reinforces the feeling of belonging to a group (herd instinct). Human beings increase their confidence and capacities when they are integrated in a group of equals with shared values (in this case, collaboration, transparency; all of which is beneficial to the organization…).
- Employees become active players in something they have an interest in; they participate in changes within the organization that affect them. As an example, we can highlight what we did with EY Spain, who used one of our communities to integrate ideas from their employees in the design of their new Madrid offices.
- Learning, inspiration, training: every employee has the opportunity to grow, thanks to contributions by other members of the community. They can improve their skills, and also contribute to ideas shared by their peers (co-creation).
- Increase engagement and motivation. An Innovation Community places listening to employees at the forefront of the organization’s strategy. Our experience with Zurich Insurance Spain showed a 34-point increase in eNPS for the organization, merely months after the implementation of this type of community.
- Gain visibility and recognition. These communities reward the best ideas, and employees achieve visibility within the organization, which impacts on their career plan.
- Shine through meritocracy. Many organizations have hidden talent that does not have the opportunity to manifest itself, or is even blocked by higher management; this is eliminated thanks to the listening processes and transparency brought about by communities like these.
Is your organization ready to connect with its internal talent?