Innovation requires engagement, collaboration and diverse thinking. However, organizations can face many challenges in creating an open space for employees to contribute ideas. Some of the issues companies encounter during the innovation process include the lack of a platform that acts as a single point of truth to connect information. In addition, limited capabilities to foster innovation and low interest among teams to participate in the process can also be hurdles to successful ideation.
The woes of organizations to engage employees have increased even more in the aftermath of the pandemic due to remote work. Although remote work has provided much-needed workplace flexibility, the lack of human presence has disrupted collaboration and communication among team members.
In this blog, we introduce how to leverage nudging and gamification to encourage participation in the innovation process.
How nudging can increase engagement in innovation
To increase employee engagement and collaboration in the innovation process, the concept of nudging can act as a vital catalyst. Nudges are simple activities presented in a subtle manner that aim to get users to achieve the best intended results. Unlike financial and social forms of incentives that do not leave room for individual preference, nudging provides employees with freedom of choice. Some of the common examples of nudging being used in the public sphere include the use of graphical warnings on cigarette packs to discourage smoking.
What is nudging?
Nudges relate more to psychological aspects, motivating individuals' decisions to meet expectations. In this regard, idea management solutions work as a single point of truth and can include gamification functions (such as providing rewards and competitive ranking systems) to nudge employees to participate in the innovation process. This way, nudges serve as a promising attribute for innovation managers to foster team engagement.
What is ideation?
Ideation is a creative and systematic approach to generate ideas and refine them in multiple stages consisting of phases and gates. Employees, test users, clients, experts, service providers, or external crowds can be involved and thus drive the innovation capability of their company. The ideation challenge is an important part of the process which is creative activities that involve a fixed or varying number of participants, contributors, and/or experts coming together to submit innovative ideas on a specific need or problem. After they submit the ideas, the contributors evaluate them among themselves and filter out the best winning ideas.
The ITONICS Innovation OS facilitates collaborative ideation campaigns, which unlocks ideas to set a distinctive advantage and amplifies the power of the crowd through collaborative ideation workflows. With the help of ideation campaigns, you can connect ideation activities to business opportunities. The ITONICS OS helps users to share information, compare, analyze and prioritize ideas by engaging all partners and uses nudging in the innovation process, contributing to the company’s overall strategy.
How to leverage nudging to enhance innovation
Proper collaboration between teams increases engagement, which in turn fosters innovation. Innovation management solutions coupled with nudging activities can enhance participation as they provide frictionless collaboration and well-documented processes. The comment and like functions available in the ITONICS solution allows users to start a conversation around the topic. This allows easier workflow in a single digital platform, increasing engagement and nudging them to participate in a continuous innovation process.
Additionally, the ITONICS platform provides rating features where relevant colleagues can evaluate the content, rate them and the software directly displays the rating reflective of the team’s views on certain trends or technologies. The platform comes with pre-defined rating criteria to help you navigate the assessment process. Furthermore, you can also define your own rating criteria depending on the needs. You can tag your colleagues in the comments section to rate certain trends or technologies.
For instance, in the Radar shown below, we assess the trend ‘Electromobility.’ The ITONICS solution promotes user engagement by rewarding them for their activities. When a user rates, shares, likes, or comments on an element, they receive competitive badges. Innovation managers can leverage this feature to increase engagement by showcasing team leaderboards.
Using gamification to increase engagement
One way to ensure employee engagement is to offer a scoring system through rankings. Another effective way is to introduce a reward mechanism in the system, which gives points to the users in real time based on their activities on the platform. Gamification allows campaign managers to foster team engagement by leveraging the scoring systems to make participation more competitive and fun.
The ITONICS solution offers gamification features based on the engagement activities of the users within a project. Campaign managers can configure points awarded to users when they complete a certain activity, such as submit or rate an idea. These points can expire over time to encourage constant involvement. The accumulated points can be redeemed by users on an ongoing basis in an internal points store (possible rewards include continuing education or an informal discussion with a member of the board). In one of our client projects, we have developed an investment system that allows users to bet on ideas and invest tokens if they believe in the potential of a project. Some of our clients have also used the leaderboards to view the status, rank, and points of users to give actual prizes.
Tips on how to facilitate nudging
When companies grow at exponential scale, it is easy to have a fragmented innovation process if they are not well managed. Many different innovation tools will emerge, varying between different corporate units. In order to effectively facilitate nudging in the innovation process, organizations should focus on the following:
- Fully digitalized system: By going digital and implementing innovation management solutions, teams can unleash their innovation process as different departments from across the world can contribute their ideas and foster engagement between previously disconnected experts. This allows innovation managers to efficiently pick up inspirational ideas anytime.
- Single innovation management platform: Organizations should implement a single and centralized innovation management platform which incorporates internal (inter department) and external members, including those closest to the consumers and product development process. Organizations possessing a single innovation tool that connects and integrates all the existing streams are able to smoothen the innovation process
- Gamification functions to increase engagement: Campaign managers can introduce scoring systems to reward the user with the highest activity on the innovation management platform. The gamification functions helps to nudge employees to participate in the innovation process.
The ITONICS Innovation Management Software provides a single source of truth to help you monitor and track changes in the marketplace to optimize your innovation efforts. From tracking the activity of users to visualizing the scores, our tools and features help you to engage teams in the innovation process. Campaign managers can assess the efforts with the help of scoreboards and various tools available in the ITONICS system. You can go beyond forming ideation teams and create a community to foster innovation in your organization by using gamification features and leveraging nudging activities.
Find out for yourself by trying our innovation management solution 30-days for free. If you want to learn more about the features and functionalities of ITONICS to increase employee engagement through nudging activities, get a demo with one of your experts!