Mobilising a critical mass of people and keeping them engaged is one of the key success factors in running an collaborative innovation initiative.
Companies that are not succeeding in mobilising and engaging the organisation are prone to fail.
So how can you attract and engage more people in your next initiative?
Here are our 10 tips on how to mobilise and boost engagement:
1. Get support from senior management
Support from senior management is absolutely crucial. It will show the importance of your initiative, give you credibility and the needed support to mobilise your company to participate.
2. Understand your culture
Your company culture will determine what engagement efforts will work. While it can be a good start to get inspired by what others do, take into account that every culture is different. What works in one company, might not work in yours. Make sure you understand your culture and tailor your initiatives accordingly.
3. Create awareness
Even the best planned innovation initiative won't create results if you fail to create awareness of it. Understand what motivates your employees and use all your communication channels to create some noise. Videos, posters, flyers, townhalls, etc. are a good start.
4. Communicate online & offline
A message on your intranet and some emails will most likely not do it. Your online channels are definitely important. However, don’t neglect the power of interpersonal communication. Notch your network, talk about your initiative with your colleagues and spread the word. Small events or meetings to kick-off the initiative are also a good way to create some initial momentum.
5. Get champions on board
Champions are the people in your organisation that have a strong network, are popular and are seen as role-models. They can have a strong influence on their co-workers. So bring them on board early on and make them your ambassador. Once they are on board, others will follow.
6. Make it easy to participate
We all know that people are busy and don't have much time. So make it as easy as possible to participate. Don't make them click 3 different links to get to the platform. The less steps people need to go through, the higher chances they will participate. A direct link to the platform on your intranet and in your online communication, a dedicated landing page and Single Sign On are good ways to simplify the process.
7. Intrinsic incentives > Extrinsic incentives
A lot of times we think that more people will participate if we promise them prizes e.g. Amazon voucher etc. However, in our experience people are often motivated by earning recognition from management and their peers. Motivation is beyond money.
8. Appoint a moderator
Once people submit their ideas it is important that you engage with them. Assign a moderator to provide feedback to idea authors, connect people and initiate collaboration. Without a moderator it will be hard to keep the participants engaged and motivated.
9. Avoid "the empty dance floor"
Don't let your platform be an empty void. Make sure that there are already some people, ideas and comments on the platform before you officially go live. Before you launch your initiative give your champions access to the platform and ask them to submit a few ideas and comments. It will give others the confidence to post their own ideas and start participating once you go live.
10. Communicate results
Motivating people to submit their ideas is the first step. But all the hard work would be for nothing if you don't follow up. Make sure to communicate what will happen with the ideas, show results and provide feedback on how to improve for those whose ideas haven't been selected. Let people know that their participation was meaningful and important. This will help you to keep your employees motivated to participate again and make sure that this was not a one shot initiative.
We hope this article has been useful for you.
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