Participative innovation has been used more and more often in the last few years. This strategy puts a firm’s employees back to the center of its digital transformation. Whatever the job, the company’s workers are now entitled to participate more by giving new ideas and making decisions. And it does not end there: they also work together to make those decisions a reality.
More value for the firm, more skills for the workers
Sharing ideas between employees does not only help create value for the firm : it also gives people an opportunity to improve their profile and their relationship to the company they work for.
With this win-win relation, a firm can gain new ideas for its digital transformation. Those are suggested within the structure by people who know exactly what they are talking about. This will be a wise choice for a firm who wants to avoid unnecessary costs – a consultant’s cabinet for instance.
The employees are generally enthusiastic when it comes to involving in their firm’s projects, especially if the subject is digitalization. Participating in modern projects and being at the heart of a key-transition for their company will strengthen their motivation and loyalty to its values. This type of collaborative work is a good way for a firm’s leaders to show the workers that they are being relied on, but also to give them self-confidence and to build a privileged relationship with them.
Lastly, participative innovation projects have a long-lasting positive effect: by encouraging a better communication between people, it helps create wellness within the company.
Make all workers participate: what is the best method?
In order to set up participative innovation projects efficiently, a firm has to give its workers the best tools possible and to guide them. The leaders and managers will help significantly by providing a rythm and clear rules. This way, everyone will be able to give their advice about key issues of the digitalisation.
There are various ways in which this transition can take place. There is no particular rule to follow. However, setting up an idea management system – in the form of a collaborative platform for instance rather an ideas box – seems to be the best way to gather employees around one project. Among the most useful tools, you will find forums, blogs, collaborative walls, rating or vote systems as well as the possibility to give advice, suggestions or criticism about a project.
Every participant must be provided with enough information to understand the project. Workers must be able to access the whole feedback and answer to it.
How to make it work?
Collaborative work is now more and more popular amongst firms who need to boost their efficiency and get their workers involved at the same time. Many examples demonstrate how successful this method can be, in particular for large structures.
The Michelin group, for instance, relies on participative projects and supports innovation through a special award offered to the employees with the best ideas.
Sony has also found a way to stand out with its crowdsourcing platform and the commercialization of its workers’ most innovative projects.
These successful examples also show how employees can deeply inspire smaller firms’ business managers who really wish to involve them.
There are many ways to make a firm’s workers participate in its digitalization. It will be essential to plan carefully each step of this major evolution. The idea management system that you choose will have to be efficient and adapted to your structure, and it will need as much human support as possible. This will lead to a fruitful collaboration and to long-lasting progress for all participants.