INNOVATION MASTERY: Motivating Your Employees [VIDEO]

Great Side Effect: Motivating Your Employees

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Let’s look at the life of Jane Employee, why don’t we? Jane wakes up at 4:30am every morning. Jane makes a cup of coffee at 4:45am. She leaves for boot camp at 5:15am. She does a Cross-Fit style boot camp from 5:30am to 6:15am. She goes home, showers, gets dressed, drives to the train station, gets on the train, starts reading a trashy novel on her Kindle for the hour long commute. She gets off the train, then takes the streetcar to the office. She gets to the office, pours herself another cup of coffee, and sits at her desk for 8-10 hours. She is so busy that she can barely ever step away for lunch, and her job is tedious to a fault.

However, she, like all of your employees, has a super quick mind, and continuously comes up with better ways to do things, better features and functions for your current products, and even new products that you could sell. But she works in accounting, and when she attempted to approach her boss to tell her about some of her ideas, she told her to drop them because they were just in accounting and no one on the product side of the business really cared about what people in accounting thought.

Replicate that with every other department other than the product side and you have a lot of unhappy, unmotivated employees, all with great ideas. Same goes for if you have one of those high-falutin’ “innovation labs”, you know those rare places with special people who only spend time coming up with new ideas – no one else innovates, or typically the C-suite “thinks” that no one else can innovate, when in reality everyone innovates, all the time.

Running an enterprise-wide crowdsourced innovation program is a great way to motivate your employees – in addition to developing great new products and services, as long as the program is properly designed, developed and run, with all of the communications channels running smoothly, it can be one of the most effective motivational programs your company has ever run.

When else can you ask your own employees to help you design and define the future of your company? When else can your CEO connect directly with your entire organization and get feedback and ideas from every corner of the company? In what other way can you entice your employees to participate in a positive way and, with the proper communication in place, involve your employees in a deep and compelling way?

No other way that I can think of. It’s a positive, and even a message which may help present your upper management as more human and vulnerable, reaching out to say “we need your help”. What better way is there to tie your employee’s future into your corporate future by letting them participate in the future product development process?

So, motivating your employees is a fantastic secondary effect of designing and developing a robust, effective crowdsourced innovation program.