How crowd-sourcing innovation tools can enhance the employee experience

A strong employee experience makes people want to be at work and ultimately, drives productivity. The most adaptive organisations are constantly looking for new ways to deliver an amazing experience to their people. One such way is through the use of crowd-sourcing innovation tools. These tools have risen in popularity over the last decade or so, with an increasing number of players operating in this space. But if you’re not familiar with these tools, it can seem daunting to understand what they are and how they work, let alone adopting one to use for your organisation. Here’s a quick primer:

  • These innovation tools harness the wisdom of the crowd. Crowd-sourcing sounds just like what it is. It’s about sourcing ideas from lots of people to find new opportunities. Most often, it’s gathering ideas from your employees but it can sometimes involve customers, partners, or even the broader public.
     
  • They allow you to collect, develop, and track ideas. It’s a digital means of allowing people to share knowledge, gather feedback, and develop ideas into implementable concepts.
     
  • Innovation tools are most successful when they are focused on a specific challenge. Traditional suggestion box methods lack focus and often do not produce actionable results. Rather than taking an open-funnel approach, the most successful innovation initiatives first define the problem before running a targeted, structured program linked to the organisation’s strategy.

It’s clear that a core part of crowd-sourcing innovation tools is the people involved. Given that it is most often your people who are involved in the process, what does it mean for enhancing their employee experience at your organisation? After all, they are the contributors, the developers, and the implementers of the ideas.

  • Employee engagement is driven by a sense of participation and purpose. A wealth of research has identified these key drivers of employee engagement. Innovation tools promote employee engagement by allowing your people to contribute their expertise to the business outside of their formal roles. Combined with a structured program, employees can have a voice in guiding the organisation’s direction. They also feel connected to a purpose that is larger than their day-to-day tasks.
     
  • Developing new capabilities among staff can be facilitated by crowd-sourced innovation. Most employees seek growth in their careers and this is especially true for newer generations of Millennial workers who are more digitally savvy. An innovation tool embedded into an effective innovation initiative promotes cross-generational collaboration. This collaboration allows sharing of knowledge between more experienced people with valuable tacit knowledge and less-experienced people with the enthusiasm to promote new ideas. Importantly, the opportunities for innovation identified present further opportunities for people to stretch themselves in new areas beyond their formal roles.
     
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration and creativity using innovation tools helps your people to drive business change. The important point about innovation tools is that they are a platform to share and develop diverse ideas. They support a program that inspires people from across the organisation to ideate solutions to interesting and relevant challenges that their organisation faces. These solutions will contribute to the future success of the organisation.

Want to find out how our innovation tool can enhance your employee experience? Come have a chat with us about Ikabo Incubator.