Encouraging idea-sharing is the best way for companies to innovate, but it isn’t always that easy. Your employees might have a wide range of creative and innovative solutions in their minds; however, they might not always be open to sharing them. Worse, they might not even be looking for solutions because they feel that it isn’t their job. Being able to encourage idea-sharing can really help to keep your business moving forward in the best possible direction. In this article, we will share 5 easy ways to get employees sharing new ideas with you!
5 Ways to Make Sharing Ideas Easier in the Workplace
No.1 – Have an Open Discussion
Open discussions are one of the best ways to encourage employees to begin sharing their ideas. Instead of simply presenting a problem and asking for solutions, discuss the problem with the employees. Your goals might be to boost your sales or simply meet a customer need. Regardless, your employees will offer better solutions if you include them and allow them to talk it through.
To encourage the best solutions, ask your employees to focus on the issue at hand. Work through the problem and ask them for their feedback and thoughts. By doing this, you are empowering them to speak through the problem in their own way. As a result, you will find that employees are more attentive and aware when it comes to discussing solutions. Keep the conversation open and allow a discussion rather than a simple solution process.
No. 2 – Widen Your Brainstorming Pool
Your brainstorming pool must be wide in order to encourage true idea-sharing. The reality is that creative solutions do not come from a room with only a few people. Fortunately, with digital platforms, it has never been easier to get more people “in the room”. Therefore, widening your brainstorming pool will allow you to hear more voices—and in turn, more sharing of ideas.
When we widen a brainstorming pool, we open ourselves up to more diverse thinking. Sometimes the quietest voice has the best idea. If you widen your brainstorming pool and provide more accessible ways for employees to share ideas, you are more likely to hear that quiet voice rather than the voice that spoke over it. More people can come up with more solutions. It makes you that much more likely to hear the solution that will change everything.
No. 3 – Lead by Example
Encouraging the sharing of ideas is something that must be led by example. To truly draw people in and convince them to present their ideas, it can be helpful to show them the way. Leaders that lead by example often have the best results. Likewise, it is no different with idea-sharing. When a leader opens themselves up to present an idea, it becomes clear to employees that this is allowed—and encouraged.
When a leader shows their employees the way, a lot of good things can happen. To truly encourage this as a leader, it is best for leaders to be open and upfront. This might mean employees sharing a few good ideas – or even showing that there is no reason to fear sharing a “bad” idea. Show your employees that the idea is to generate ideas, not just the perfect idea that will solve the problem. Employees will also benefit from leaders piggybacking on the conversation to encourage more discussion when an employee speaks up.
No. 4 – Incentivise Employees for Creativity
A little friendly competition can be remarkably beneficial for encouraging creative thought. There is a reason that companies have offered perks and held contests for creative ideas for some time now. It works. So why not consider holding a competition for creative solutions and offer a fun incentive for the winner? When people see competition, they are more likely to become passionate and excited. In a lot of cases, employees will be more open to speaking up and sharing all ideas instead of just the ones that they feel confident in.
No. 5 – Use Idea-Sharing Software
Idea-sharing software is an invaluable tool when it comes to encouraging brainstorming in today’s modern workplace. This style of software makes it easy for employees to jot down their ideas in real-time. So, it becomes easier for them to act. Give your employees access to online brainstorming areas and an easy way to share their ideas with the right software. You will be pleased to see just how much this can encourage people to speak up and share their ideas.
Innovate through Microsoft Teams
Encourage your employees to share ideas through the digital tools they use every day.
Every business should want their employees to share new ideas, which means that they should want to make it easy. A group of employees that aren’t speaking up doesn’t lack creativity, it lacks incentive. Encourage them to speak up and share their thoughts by making it easy and exciting for them to do so. You will find that employees will thrive on this kind of encouragement and adapt to it with time. Soon, the sharing of ideas will become a comfortable standard practice for your employees down the line. They will be just as happy as you are!