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Idea Sharing: How To Share Ideas In The Workplace

  2. Everyone knows that two heads are better than one. Most businesses already encourage the sharing of ideas at work. It could be brainstorming sessions, team- building events or even strategically placed sofas around the water cooler to encourage conversation and ideation. But rather than leaving it to chance, consider how idea-sharing ‘technology’ could transform your business? Just think of the benefits of tapping into the collective wisdom of your team, including the increasing number of remote workers and freelancers in the workforce.
  3. IDEA-SHARING: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Foster Innovation & Creativity Add Value To The Customer Improve Employee Engagement & Morale Team collaboration and joint working foster a culture of innovation and creativity throughout the workforce. Bouncing ideas of colleagues, sharing insights as well as offering different experiences and feedback can result in breakthrough thinking. Senior managers and business owners often don’t have that daily interaction with customers. And yet they are responsible for setting the strategic direction and making budgetary decisions. Front-line customer service staff have a deep understanding about the needs, wants and complaints of consumers. Capturing their ideas, insights and suggestions can lead to improvements sure to add customer-value and improve your standing in the marketplace. Having an idea-sharing platform in place sends an important message to employees that they are valued. It encourages staff to become actively involved in the business, increasing their sense of emotional connection and supporting a work environment that promotes constant learning, innovation and improvement. You will also benefit from an enhanced employer brand. The bottom line is that sharing ideas at work can lead to increased revenue for the company. The improvements in business processes, cost- reducing measures and enhanced customer service will translate into more dollars in the bank. Increased Revenue +
  4. ? Ask Open And Closed Questions Make It Fun Be Upfront About Business Goals Provide Regular Feedback TEAM SHARING IDEAS Say Thank You
  5. TEAM SHARING IDEAS Idea-Sharing Comes From The Top: Managers and leaders should set the right tone and make it clear that creative thinking is encouraged and valued. Give team members the space to test their ideas, resolve issues and find solutions collectively. This also involves making it clear it’s OK to be zany, and make mistakes. In fact, accepting the inevitability of mistakes will unleash the creative process. BE UPFRONT ABOUT BUSINESS GOALS Keeping team members fully informed about the business, its changing goals, challenges and opportunities will enable staff to meaningfully contribute. Staff need that important contextual knowledge and awareness of operational parameters to guide their thinking and maximize the impact of their idea-sharing. ASK OPEN AND CLOSED QUESTIONS Presenting staff with a blank piece of paper and asking for ideas on wide-ranging topics isn’t always the best way to encourage idea-sharing. Ensure you have closed questions – these can actually focus the mind and encourage staff to be more specific in their contributions. MAKE IT FUN It doesn’t always have to be serious, work-related issues that staff are asked to contribute ideas on. Introducing a light-hearted element stops the process from becoming dull. Ask staff for their views on a team-bonding exercise or which sodas should be stocked in the office refrigerator. PROVIDE REGULAR FEEDBACK It’s essential to feedback to staff on how their ideas and suggestions have produced results or led to real change. Seeing the tangible results of their ideas will encourage employees to ideate and innovate even more. SAY THANK YOU Staff members will have put time and effort into their ideas and so it’s only right the organization acknowledges that with a thank you. It could in the shape of lunch vouchers, a token gift, or simply a thank you message from the CEO. This small gesture will, however, make a big difference in terms of boosting morale and the company culture. SHARE
  6. Technology has made the process of sharing ideas at work a whole lot easier. Today’s workplaces have changed considerably over the last 20 years with flexible working becoming increasingly popular. Research from the US Census Bureau tells us that 4.7 million employees in the US work from home at least half the time. What’s needed in the modern workplace is an idea-sharing platform that replicates that social network of old in a virtual sense. What’s needed is an intranet which not only serves as an idea-sharing platform, it will also deliver other, untapped business benefits. IDEA-SHARING PLATFORM
  7. AT WORK WITH AN INTRANET The integrated office intranet has a number of advantages over other idea- sharing platforms, including: • Document management system for simpler file storage and sharing both internally and externally • News blogs and newsletters for enhanced internal communication • Online quizzes and surveys to canvas staff views • Company or team calendar to keep staff informed of key dates and events • Automated online forms to streamline business processes • Knowledge management systems to manage and transfer corporate knowledge. All employees can enjoy access to the intranet, from any device, and requires only one sign-on for users. There’s no need for multiple screens and a variety of apps – it’s all there in one platform.
  8. COLLABORATIVE WORKSPACES These shared workspaces on the intranet allow for more advanced idea-sharing. A cross-departmental project group can set up a closed project space on the intranet. Access is restricted to the project team members only by a series of rules. The project team can then meet virtually to share information and data, brainstorm ideas. Furthermore, it’s possible to embed G Suite or Office 365 apps directly in the intranet for real-time online collaboration. There’s no need to email the strategy around to the team for editing and comments with complicated track changes that are hard to follow. SOCIAL INTRANET The intranet makes it possible to replicate social networks online. The intranet comes with a number of integrated social features, including: • Follow-me functionality • Individual activity walls • Site or team activity walls • Notifications and subscriptions • Add a friend INTRANET FEATURES THAT SUPPORT THE SHARING OF IDEAS
  9. ONLINE EMPLOYEE PROFILES EMPLOYEE IDEA EXCHANGE It’s possible to set up a virtual employee suggestion box on the intranet. The difference with the intranet is that all employees can see what’s being put forward and are able to contribute and expand on the idea. What’s more, the intranet’s idea exchange increases accountability as management can easily feedback to staff on the outcomes of their suggestions. Another suggestion is a bright ideas blog or wiki where staff can communicate, connect and share ideas, insights or ask questions on work-related issues. 24/7 REMOTE ACCESS The open-all-hours nature of the intranet means staff can share ideas and collaborate anytime and anywhere. All that’s required is a smartphone, tablet or computer and Wi-Fi connection. And so, regardless of location, time difference or whether the worker is a freelancer or telecommuter, the intranet acts as a platform for idea sharing and social networking. The intranet breaks down the barriers caused by distance or information silos. Full employee biographies that showcase employees’ areas of knowledge and expertise help to facilitate the exchange of ideas between employees. For example, Paula in Accounts may be struggling with an issue in Excel. A search through the employee directory can reveal sources of help in other teams.
  10. Encouraging staff to share their ideas, knowledge and insights fosters innovation in the workplace and will ultimately help to increase profits. A simple to set-up and easy to manage cloud intranet facilitates the exchange of ideas so that all staff can contribute. The intranet is accessible 24/7 even to freelancers, contractors and those who are telecommuting or spend their time out on the road. Get in touch with us here at MyHub for an informal discussion and learn how an intranet could breathe new life into your company’s idea-sharing. Why not find out for yourself just how effective a platform the intranet is with our free demo or 14-day no-obligation trial. Sharing ideas really is a whole lot easier with an intranet so get in touch today! IDEA SHARING MADE EASY WITH AN INTRANET