To stay competitive in today’s business environment you need a workforce who are productive, engaged and results driven – and how you achieve this is pretty simple.
The answer is – Input.
Empowering employees through participation gives individuals a stronger sense of belonging and responsibility. This doesn’t mean getting input from all the staff on every business decision of course, this wouldn’t work, but considering opportunities for how and when you can involve employees is important.
Seems straightforward enough right? Yet it’s something many businesses who are striving to accelerate processes and get results neglect to do, but what they’re failing to realise is this is doing more harm than good for their long game.
In most cases employees want to solve problems, it gives them a chance to feel listened to, so why not start there?
Challenge employees to generate ideas. Humans have an innate need to feel like they are making a difference and if employee ideas are valued and implemented they feel important. As a result, they typically become more personally immersed in their work, contributions rise, innovations rise, employee satisfaction rises, productivity rises and sickness falls.
But is it really that easy?
Sadly not. Whilst simply asking employees to generate ideas may help them feel valued initially, if the ideas they produce are not good enough for the business to implement and follow through on, the result could be the complete opposite. Overtime employees who continually produce ideas that aren’t used could become demotivated.
So how do you ensure at least some of the ideas employees generate are worthy of implementation?
Group brainstorming is not the answer
Many studies have been done which demonstrate that individuals are more likely to generate a higher number of original ideas when they don’t interact with others, so ditch the team brainstorms!
Instead, create an ideation strategy for your business and teach employees how to deliver ideas of value. You don’t have to be a ‘creative-type’ to produce ideas; they don’t just ‘come’ to us, there is a process our brains go through, which anyone can learn and become a natural ideas generator.
There are many tools and techniques that can be incorporated into the daily practice of individuals and organisations that help this process; The SCAMPER technique, Analogy Thinking and Reverse Thinking are just a few examples.
And developing this soft-skill within your workforce has proven to be one of the biggest contributing factors to the bottom line, so what are you waiting for?
If you’d like to understand more about the tools and techniques you can teach your workforce to generate ideas that will make a difference, get in touch with Idarc.