As you establish your idea program, consider how you will promote it within the company and keep everyone informed. By keeping top management informed, you will have the best chances of ensuring your initiative remains a priority. Employees throughout the company will benefit from knowing about it, too. This will encourage a culture of innovation and engagement and bring new ideas and improvements to the project.
How will employees learn about the purpose and possibilities behind your program? Creating an open system will invite greater contributions from all staff, as well as the feedback and resources that others may be able to provide that can help to refine your program strategies and approaches.
Here are some strategies that could help you to keep people informed throughout the innovation process and maximize the support you receive for your program.
1. Develop a Communication Strategy Using Social Networks
Are you integrating existing communication strategies to get the word out about your project? For example, chances are, your employees are using social networking sites already. Statistics show that about 70 percent of Internet users are using Facebook, with active Twitter use steadily rising. Have you thought about using these to post updates about your idea program?
For example, you could post information and news from outside of your company, highlighting the need for innovation. You could also post updates and ask for feedback as the program progresses. This type of news travels far, as employees chime in with their likes and retweets, spreading the word and garnishing support for your program.
2. Use Internal Communication Outlets such as Company Newsletters
Does your company have a newsletter or news section on its website? Do you have an Intranet? Have you considered posting updates on your project or spotlighting key innovators or thought leaders in your organization? You may benefit from use of idea software to keep employees up-to-date as new ideas emerge, allowing them to express their opinions and for snowball effects to happen.
3. Gather and Empower Champions to Spread the Word
Are there key staff members who believe in your idea program? Are there stakeholders, within or outside of the organization, that are calling for change that your program addresses? They can greatly increase the support and resources your program receives. By voicing their support and communicating with others, they can gather the momentum and help needed for innovation success. Think about who may have a stake in the success of your program. Who will benefit?
Once you have an idea of who could champion and advocate your program, consider whether they have the opportunity and tools to do so. Do they have access to communicate with personnel, customers and clients, and other stakeholders?
Are there ways you could feature them in company communications? For example, a short interview in a monthly newsletter with a client describing how the program will benefit them would go a long way in motivating staff to keep going with the program.
These are just a few tips on how to generate sustained communications about your innovation program. It’s definitely worth putting some thought into it, as successful communications throughout your idea program can make all the difference to its success.