filed under Engagement

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3 Signs of a Risk Averse Culture

Time and again we hear that one of the primary reasons behind companies not embracing innovation is that they have a risk averse culture. This is not completely unexpected as we live in a culture where caution is supported and courage is questioned. With that said, risk aversion has stunted the growth of many organizations and it can lead to the demise of your own.

Think your organization may be risk averse? Then look for these three signs.

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filed under Engagement, Management

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3 Business Trends Driving the Need to Change How We Lead

Recently our CEO Brennan was invited to a breakfast with Isadore Sharp, the founder of Four Seasons, who is also a Ryerson University alumni. One of the anecdotes from the conversation that ensued was how Isadore would walk into his hotels and regularly ask the bellhop how they could improve the customer experience, because bellhops are the most knowledgeable about customers’ needs. It’s a telling tidbit from an organization that built a reputation for excellent service through valuing and empowering front-line employees.

I believe this style of leadership is needed now more than ever. Here’s why.

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filed under Innovation

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The Employee Engagement Equation for Idea Management Programs

Measuring employee engagement on your idea management program can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish (aside for employee engagement ROI). In order to do it, you need to consider the engagement equation.

The engagement equation has two key components:

  1. The employees must be engaged.
  2. The leaders must be engaged.
The employee engagement equation has two key components: The employees and the leaders must both be engaged.

Seems simple enough but let’s take a deeper dive into these two parts of the equation.

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filed under Engagement, Management

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Disengagement Factors: What Happens to Your Employees

Employee disengagement factors: What are theyWhen new hires hit the scene, they tend to be hopeful and optimistic. Better pay, career development, benefits—the future looks bright and shiny.

However, day after day, small things continue to stack up and build upon one another. Eventually that platform grows to be so high that the employee chooses to jump ship either mentally (they are disengaged) or physically (they quit).

Employee disengagement does not happen overnight; it is a process. In this post, we will look at how it happens and what you can do to keep it from happening to your employees.

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filed under Innovation

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Frugal Innovation

Frugal innovation is being touted by some industry gurus as the next generation of disruptive innovation. Through this concept, organizations strive to do more with less. Nokia, for example, designed a “bare bones” basic phone, which, apart from a flash light, had little features apart from voice and text. Two hundred million units sold within four years, making it one of the best selling phones of all time. Another example is the solar light bulb crafted from one litre soda bottles filled with bleach and water, which provides inexpensive lighting in poorer areas of the Philippines.

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filed under Engagement

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The Two Types of Employee Engagement

If you were to sit in during one of the many leadership meetings held throughout the year in almost any organization, one key topic that you would undoubtedly hear time again is “employee engagement.” Plenty has been written about the topic, and we have all heard just how great it is and how costly disengagement can be. Organizations are aware that, at best, only one-third of their current employees are engaged and that they could be doing more.

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filed under Innovation

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How to Make Sure Everyone Contributes to Your Idea Program

Measuring the adoption of your idea program is a great way to track the employee engagement levels of the program. But looking at adoption at a macroscopic level can cause us to overlook areas of improvement that can significantly increase adoption across the organization on the whole.

In the SoapBox governance structure, big businesses will likely have two tiers of innovation partners like this diagram below (read more about it in this article).

governance-structure

We recommend having an innovation partner from every functional unity to increase communication and collaboration between departments. At the same time, we recommend having innovation partners from every department that can check the health and engagement of each department.

It is important to have employees contribute from every department to ensure that:

  1. All departments contribute to the culture of innovation.
  2. Employees understand that ideas are expected from every department.
  3. Ideas are impacting every part of the business.

So, how can you ensure that everyone is contributing?

1. Identify Functional Units with Lower Engagement

For each functional unit, determine the % adoption, total ideas, comments, and votes. With this information, you now have a better sense of how engaged each department is and which departments need more work.

2. Look for Ideas That You Can Celebrate

Look for:

  • Ideas that you would like see from the community. Those ideas serve as great role models and inspiration for other employees.
  • Ideas that are about to be implemented or have been completed. These ideas show that leaders are listening to employees and value their ideas.
  • Ideas that impact employees or are submitted by their peers. You want to employees that their peers are participating in the innovation and that ideas directly impact the way they work.

You can use this idea tracker template to help.

We suggest using an email newsletter to celebrate those ideas and reach all of the employees in the department.

3. Push Ideas Forward

Engage leaders by identifying ideas that can be implemented, brainstorming alternative solutions to ideas that have been submitted, and sorting out who else needs to be involved to execute an idea. This is important in keeping the program active and moving forward, showing employees that you are serious about implementing good ideas, while at the same time, ensuring your business can reap the benefits of the ideation.