Blog: 7 Rules for Innovation: #4 Employee Recognition
Seven Rules for Innovation: #4 Employee Recognition
Sep. 16, 2010— Employees need to be recognized for their efforts, plain and simple. This is especially true as you’re trying to drive innovation forward at your company. If you’re not doing this already, you need to start a regular process for recognizing (better yet, rewarding) workers in your company. If the whole innovation process is new to your organization, or your current process is being updated or changed, then you’re most likely asking employees to perform new tasks that are not already part of their jobs. If this is the case, there must be some understanding on their part that there’s “something in it for them.”
One way to do this, of course, is to recognize them or give out awards in some sort of public forum. You can pick out these “superstars” by creating a value system that ties into the benefit (aka: cost savings, revenue, ROI, or some other financial metric) of implemented ideas that sprang from the employee well. If you’re doing innovation right, then you’re already benchmarking this, of course, too!
Many companies use a points-based system to track particular activities within the innovation process: “Submitting an idea,” “Management approves an idea,” or “idea gets implemented” are all good events to start tracking. Still other companies choose to simply share a monetary award based on the benefits received from a good idea.
It’s all about creating an incentive for employees to share ideas and follow through on the resulting new projects. Without that incentive, there is little motivation to strive beyond the daily expectations of their typical job function.
Another fairly simple suggestion you can put into play is to create a program for employees to write articles, knowledge base entries, contribute to publications, and make a name for themselves in their discipline. Even if these pieces are only used internally, the sharing of expertise is a very powerful way to become recognized for your knowledge and contributions to the company. Supporting employees in this way is a sure-fire method for getting them to solve problems and share ideas that they’ve seen work in different environments. All of this drives innovation to it’s peak.
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Carnegie, PA 15106
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John Stowell, Director of Innovation, Zep Inc.
"StageTrak is very customizable to your needs. Once it's up and running it's pretty intuitive. It's much simpler to operate than most of its competitors."
"We avoided $750,000 in cost in North American alone last year because we're being more selective and going after better intellectual property."
"Flagpole offers novel social marketing techniques to partner and collaborate with the National Poison Control Center community."
Tom Mauss, Chief Executive Officer
"We were impressed with MindMatters’ entire Step by Step Innovation process. They helped us identify areas where we might fail, and successfully navigated around those obstacles."
"Our R&D idea submissions have tripled over the whole of the previous year."
Gregg Edwards, Chief People Officer
"Allows us to not only capitalize on the brilliance of our employees, but also to collaborate on organizational issues in a much more engaging, satisfying way."
Director of R&D
"The MindMatters software has really worked out for our team. It has enabled us to develop a process that effectively mines the innovative thoughts of R&D. Our invention disclosure count is through the roof compared to pre-MindMatters numbers."
In 2002, 8,254 civil cases related to intellectual property theft were filed in U.S. courts.
U.S. Department of Justice
The fastest-growing U.S. companies tend to foster innovation.
Harnessing Innovation, PriceWaterhouse Coopers
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
All told, 69 percent of the executives who participated ranked innovation as one of their company’s top-three strategic priorities.
Boston Consulting Group Survey
Intellect and innovation are the sources of virtually all economic value, growth, and strategic edge today.
James Brian Quinn, Professor of Management, Dartmouth College
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Dr. Alan Kay, Disney Imagineering
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