Our world and work are subject to constant innovation and change. Keeping up with everyone else’s pace is difficult and requires innovation on your part. However, as you’re trying to innovate you will run into problems or periods of time where you can’t think of anything new. One way to create innovation in your company is to ask for others’ ideas. But what do you do when your employees don’t want to come forward with any ideas? Here are some ways to encourage idea sharing in your company:
Ask for Ideas
As obvious as this may seem, a lot of leaders forget to ask or, even worse, unintentionally discourage employees from sharing ideas. Ask for ideas for solving specific problems and make sure you include all employees when asking. Avoid using language like “we can just stick to the old way,” when employees approach you with new ideas. This will help employees to know that your request for new ideas in sincere.
Your employees may be exited to help solve problems, but when push comes to shove, they might not know how to come up with new ideas, create solutions, or present those ideas. Consider giving your employees training on problem solving and presenting ideas. This will increase the amount of well thought out ideas you are presented with.
Make Obvious Changes
Employees won’t want to share their ideas if they don’t think the ideas will be used or even paid attention to. If you do use someone’s idea, be very open about it. Make sure to give the employee credit for their idea and tell them how you will implement it. If your employees see you giving recognition for ideas and actively using ideas, they will be more likely to share their ideas with you.
Use this advice to increase the amount of idea sharing in your company.