What do LinkedIn, Whirpool, and Adobe have in common? They all swear by in-house innovation programs which give every employee a chance to pitch their ideas. So, if you want to join the innovative crowd and get some fresh input for your new product, internal idea competition is your answer.
The best part? Successful idea competitions will benefit your business in many ways. Not only will you get the ideas you need, but also boost your innovation culture, employee engagement, and promote internal collaboration.
In this blog post, we will explain the concept of in-house idea contests and point out the gains that can come along with it.
Tap into the Knowledge of Your People
The world has gone digital, and so have human interactions. Online tools and platforms allow instant multidirectional communication between many people, which opens up new possibilities for the idea generation process. Companies can rely on innovation management platforms to find good ideas and gain competitive advantage. One way to speed up the process is through internal idea competitions.
But wait, what exactly is an idea competition?
Idea competition is a challenge, to which its participants provide a solution using their skills, knowledge, and creativity.
In internal competitions, co-workers suggest ideas in response to a specific goal identified by the company. Its purpose is to solve the outlined problem by recognizing and implementing the most promising solution.
For instance, if you are looking for a way to minimize your ecological footprint, you can launch an idea competition asking your team to come up with solutions to make your product or service CO2-neutral.
Open Innovation vs. In-house Innovation
How do in-house idea contests differ from open innovation challenges? Usually, open innovation challenges also include participants outside your company. While that might sound tempting, we believe that internal innovation contest is the best place to start.
Employees often have a deeper understanding of the company (than, for instance, your customers) and can share more sensitive information in their idea descriptions or comments. This can positively influence the nature of interactions between the participants and push them toward further discussions.
Perks of Successful Idea Competition
Your company can benefit from internal idea contests in many other ways beyond getting the ultimate winning idea:
1. Higher Employee Engagement In-house idea contests are positively associated with employee engagement. Giving co-workers a voice, fostering a culture of employee empowerment and a sense of belonging, can improve work motivation and satisfaction. A study by Gallup showed that employee engagement contributed to significantly increased profitability and productivity, lower employee turnover and absenteeism, as well as, higher customer satisfaction rankings. Not bad, right?
2. Improved Communication and Collaboration During idea competitions, employees are encouraged to communicate with each other. Formal and informal interactions connect co-workers across multiple departments and give them new skills and learnings. Such communication networks enable knowledge to flow freely throughout the organization, improving the company's overall innovative culture.
3. Stronger Employer Brand When you encourage employee creativity, help people develop their potential, and give them the opportunity to contribute to the company's success, you create a happy workplace. If you associate your brand with innovation and communicate it in your employer branding, you will likely create positive buzz around the company, and attract the best industry talents.
Are you ready to jump right into it? With Ideanote you can easily create and share your goal-oriented challenges with as little or as many people as you like. Book a friendly demo with our Customer Success team and we will help you get started in no time.
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