In every organization, one simple truth will always apply: engaged employees are better employees. Research from Gallup shows that businesses with highly engaged employees enjoy:
But if you're currently wondering how to engage employees, you're not alone; the same research also found that more than half of the U.S. workforce is currently unengaged with their work. It's time to bridge that gap. Innovation challenges can be an effective solution to engage your employees and improve your organization.
Challenges empower your employees to identify and solve meaningful problems and explore new opportunities with your business. If you’re ready to take the plunge with your first challenge, here are three tips to help you get started.
Challenges should address meaningful problems or opportunities with your business; employees want to know they can have a real impact. For inspiration, think about what presently matters most to your employees and design challenges that address one or more of these critical areas. If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t be afraid to ask!
When you're getting started, be mindful of momentum. Think of potential wins that can be implemented fairly quickly. This is helpful to build trust and buy-in from employees. A steady stream of tangible results will keep your employees excited and motivated to keep participating.
Be transparent about the process. This includes communicating with employees before, during and after each challenge.
It is critical that you follow through with winning ideas to demonstrate that your employees’ input makes a difference. Before the challenge begins, ensure you have adequate resources and autonomy to fully carry out the challenge, which includes idea development, experimentation and potentially implementation of one or more winning ideas.
Lack of follow through breeds distrust and apathy — two factors that are fatal to employee engagement.
Users today expect an intuitive experience with features and workflows comparable to their social networking app experiences. A messy email chain or boring challenge interface will not inspire your employees' engagement. A compelling look and feel is critical.
Challenges solve the question of, "How to engage employees?" by tapping into your employees’ knowledge and fostering collaborating on the best ideas to move your business forward. Challenges can remove barriers between top-level and boots-on-the-ground employees by increasing visibility and channels of communication.
Your employees should feel meaningful to your organization. Empower your employees to participate and have an impact on the future of your business. For more tips on increasing employee buy-in for your challenges, check out our Ultimate Guide to Generating Employee Buy-In for Your Challenges.