July 31, 2020
5 Ways To Encourage Employees To Share Ideas & Innovation

Heidi Wilcox

Growth.

We all want it. The question is, how do we get to where we want to be?

In today's world, in order to stay relevant you must be changing and moving forward at a fast pace and in the right direction. Nobody can count on one person to make that happen.

The most successful companies got to where they are now by promoting intrapreneurship.  What is that you ask? Intrapreneurship is allowing each of your employees to bring ideas and innovation to your company like they are entrepreneurs. 

To create an intrapreneurial culture start asking and listening to your employees that want to share ideas. These employees probably already exist within your company. They just need to be nurtured and encouraged.

Here are 5 ways to help create a culture of innovation:

1. Share information openly

Sharing information is key. If you have 20 people in a room and share the issues you are trying to solve, you will have 20 additional minds working on that problem. Odds are one of them will have input that can help push you forward. It is time to stop counting on one or two people and looking at all of your employees as resources. They all have different strengths and will excel if you let them.

Woman being celebrated at work.

2. Hire the right people

Take your time when hiring new employees. Hire a mix of different personalities and different backgrounds. It is important to have a variety of ideas and team players. Ask the right questions when interviewing. See what their ideas would be to a issue. If someone says I don’t know and isn’t willing to give an answer even if it is wrong. They are probably not the right fit. It is better to have an engaged employee then one that sits on the sidelines.

3. Rely on data, not opinions

Make sure that when you launch something or try something new it can be tracked. Numbers don’t lie. Go off data vs opinions. The facts are the facts.

4. Focus on customers, not competition

There is enough room for everyone. Don’t worry about what your competition is doing. Focus on what your customers are coming to you for. See how they engage with your ideas and products. Customers are what keep you in business, so they are where 100% of your focus needs to be.

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5. Set big goals

Get your employees motivated by setting high expectations. Set a goal of growing something by 10 times instead of 10 percent. Light a fire for big ideas. Incorporate non-financial incentives, such as one-on-ones with CEOs, peer recognition, achievement awards and public thank-yous. If possible set up a compensation plan or prize if goals are met. 

Intrapreneurship has become critical for all organizations. Organizations that have embraced Intrapreneurship have achieved higher financial returns, increased productivity, more innovation and higher levels of employee engagement.

Take a look at Intrapreneurship and what it can mean for your organization.

 

Heidi Wilcox is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. Want to learn more about encouraging employees to share their ideas? Reach out to Heidi at heidi.wilcox@excelerateamerica.com

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