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creating a culture of innovation

As companies increasingly recognize the importance of innovation and disruptive solutions to remain competitive, the big question remains: where does innovation come from and how a culture of innovation be cultivated? While it might certainly seem like a big question with a complicated answer, for most companies the solution within reach more than they could have ever imagined. Contrary to popular belief, existing employees account for the vast majority of innovative ideas and the right software can help unlock innovation while also shifting the entire company culture.

 

culture of innovation success with numbersCompanies who feel static, often look to outside sources for new ideas, but studies show that internal employees actually represent the best source of innovative ideas. The real challenge is creating a culture of innovation where employees feel free to share ideas and question the status quo. Here we have put together some of our most important findings regarding these issues in the article, “Creating a Culture of Innovation: Validating Success with Numbers.” Below are a few of the highlights worth noting:

 

  • On average, 42% of ideas comes from internal employees.
  • Automating innovation will allow employees to balance daily tasks while also cultivating new ideas.
  • Targeted innovation programs lead to 96% participation with 75% of employees exceeding engagement goals.
  • Long-term innovation programs that include clear KPIs are proven to increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

 

Creating a Culture of Innovation
The Importance of Empowering Employees

Ultimately, the success of any internal innovation program comes down to effectively empowering employees to explore and submit ideas. Companies have a tendency to focus on customer satisfaction and to not give enough credence to employee satisfaction. Employees who feel valued and free to express ideas will drive innovation and contribute to the success of any company. The right software platform is a vital component of creating the right environment for employees and automating the innovation process so that engagement doesn’t become too time consuming.

 

The case study also revealed that it is unrealistic for companies to expect a single innovation training session to trigger meaningful and lasting participation from employees. A prolonged program that includes clear KPIs and success tracking, is the best solution. Innovation software provides the perfect complement to ongoing programs by creating a structured, centralized and accessible platform for communication and collaboration. Idea submissions can be quickly submitted, assessed and pushed through the development pipeline, which allows products and services to reach the market faster and provides employees with a sense of accomplishment.

 

Using KPIs to Engage and Reward Participants

Recognizing and rewarding employees for their participation and engagement can go a long way to rewriting the innovation script and improving overall job satisfaction. This process begins with outlining KPIs and making these readily available and transparent through the innovation software. The ability to track and measure performance will identify “power users” and make better use of individual talents that may have been underutilized in the past.

 

Setting clear goals also sets a standard that, in and of itself, acts as a motivator. Employees will want to meet and exceed goals. The more recognition they receive for their efforts, the more likely they will be to continue to try and exceed expectations. Combining the right program with the best software helps to outline KPIs and set the bar for participants.

 

culture of innovation kpi goals

 

Gamification: Creating a Culture of Innovation

Ezassi innovation software is unique in that it allows for the gamification of innovation. This approach fuels collaboration and the competitive spirit, while offering points and displaying a leaderboard. Each organization can establish their own customized challenges and KPIs. Solutions can be automatically scored according to certain predetermined criteria for a quick evaluation period that decreases the time to innovate.

 

culture of innovation gamificationUltimately, the tracking tools also serve to create a bigger picture of the whether the company, as a whole, is meeting its innovation goals, while also recording the contributions of individual employees. All of the data can be used to make adjustments to keep the company on track and capitalize on the strengths of internal employees who may have more to offer. Data driven decision-making will help create targeted solutions.

 

The metrics are clear: innovation programs, combined with the right innovation software, provides measurable results that can drastically change your company. Instead of just demanding innovation, it is important to create an environment where employees are empowered and equipped with the right tools to share and explore their ideas. With these elements in place, you might be surprised to see just how many great ideas come from existing employees.