Today, employees are the main resource* a corporation can count on to obtain new ideas for their innovation strategy.
When asked in 1954 about the origins of his findings, the winner of the Chemistry Nobel Prize Linus Pauling responded that “the best way to get a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”
Both those needs translate, and line up, within a corporate innovation program: gathering new ideas is very important, but what is even more important is finding the right ideas and getting employees to participate and become engaged in innovation.
The use of technology and tools for collaborative ideas and listening, facilitate the process and make it democratic, taking things beyond departments, geographical locations or hierarchies.
Technology and crowdsourcing: more ideas, innovation and engagement
When an organization opens the door to asking and listening to its internal talent, it expands the scope of possible solutions to its strategic challenges and takes full advantage of all its pool of talent.
This commitment also establishes a new model for the relationship with employees, which transforms the entire organization, how both parties interact, and how employees engage with their organization, providing strong support for the task of departments such as Human Resources or Internal Communication.
Consulting firms like Deloitte* claim that crowdsourcing (when an organization listens to ideas related to predetermined issues) is part of the cultural change demanded by collectives like Millennials, and a card organizations can play in their management of talent.
Thus, within a fluid and highly competitive environment, marked by uncertainty, in a market with a high rotation of profiles and particularly of profiles with the most in-demand skills, how can listening to employees contribute to recruiting and retaining talent, while it also extracts the very best out of talent available to the organization, making it more competitive?
Let us look at some of the advantages of this approach.
1. More engagement and talent recognition.
If an organization opens its doors, it becomes more difficult for talent to jump out the window. Listening reinforces engagement. Also, when things are done in a transparent environment where there is public acknowledgement of good ideas and their authors, their dedication to work is only strengthened.
2. Take full advantage of internal talent… or hidden talent.
Sharing strategic issues with all their employees allows organizations to really explore their entire pool of talent to find solutions. In addition, individual contributions can help to detect profiles of interest that were previously hidden.
Several studies declare that only 5% of an organization’s hidden talent comes to the surface. This is known as the ‘talent iceberg’.
3. More diversity at the service of the organization’s objectives
When an organization bridges the gap with its employees through active listening and collaboration, it increases its competitiveness. Every employee can contribute from his or her areas of expertise, working on projects while learning from the projects proposed by others. One of our clients in the petrochemical industry used crowdsourcing to suggest a challenge for its entire workforce, regarding how to translate its corporate values into everyday behavior. And a leading consulting firm got its employees involved in the design of their new workspace.
4. More collaborative intelligence, more resilience.
Co-creation not only gives organizations access to more solutions to internal challenges. It also enables collaboration surrounding those challenges. In this sense, it generates an element of collaborative intelligence around the organization, strengthening it and improving each employee’s engagement and individual capacities in relation to innovation.
5. More knowledge of what is important.
The use of transparent listening channels, open to members of an organization, is an excellent opportunity to share its strategy and align employees with that strategy or other specific issues.
6. More employee knowledge, better employee retention
By asking all its internal talent to participate, an organization may obtain valuable qualitative insights (proposals shared by employees), as well as quantitative insights (trends regarding participation); this enables them to view data and detect employee needs, promoting actions to cover those needs.
7. More collaboration, in a digital mindset.
Digital initiatives, like an internal community based on employee contributions and input, facilitate the adoption of co-creative work models by employees. They also cover a common desire among young talent (work with technological tools) and help to improve digital skills among all other employees.
8. More creative thinking.
Co-creative dynamics also have an impact on the organization and its employees, as they incite greater agility, an appetite for new ideas, and creative thinking, turning these into values instilled in everyday work.
9. Greater agility, internally and in the market.
Co-creation allows organizations to establish agile work models. It also finally enables them to capture new ideas and needs internally, to help their global competitiveness.
Promote employee engagement and develop the potential for innovation among your employees.
Discover how you can launch a program for active listening and cultural change with your internal talent, thanks to our software and methodology.
*CB Insights, “State of the Innovation Survey” (2018)
*Deloitte, “Enterprise crowdsourcing and the growing fragmentation of work” (2016)