Why Employee Engagement is Key to Successful Innovation

The recipe for an effective corporate innovation model requires several key ingredients. However, to truly "taste" success, employee engagement must become the priority.

Whether introducing new innovation models or taking existing strategies to the next level, employee engagement is a metric that should be tracked and bolstered at every opportunity. Here’s why:

Happy employees are more productive

According to statistics, happy employees are  13% more productive. Frankly, keeping them engaged with their work is the most effective way to see those benefits. 

To encourage engagement in relation to innovation processes, organizations should focus on supporting a company-wide approach that makes it accessible for all. Moreover, there should be a psychologically safe environment in which employees do not fear failure or worry about potential embarrassment due to mentioning a bad idea. When combined with an active effort to celebrate all triumphs rather than the big idea alone, success will follow. 


Conversely, burnout will kill innovative ideas

Supported by both scientific research and anecdotes, the link between burnout and decreased capacity to  innovate, is clear. Employee disengagement often leads to burnout, which hampers creativity and problem-solving. 

Innovation requires peace of mind and perspective. The  most effective way to support engagement and enjoyment in this context is to let employees innovate as soon as ideas surface . This is the most exciting time for them to work on the concept, which translates to a more natural progression of the project. The KICKBOX methodology makes innovation accessible at all times. 


Emotional connections are a sign of engaged employees

An emotional connection is vital in modern innovation, not least because it often revolves around customer-centric ideas. Only engaged employees will feel it.

When an employee feels truly engaged with their innovations, they don’t only want to work on them. They also understand the contextuality, desirability, and viability of their concepts. Likewise, they will have a deeper appreciation of the client and be open to utilizing data for guidance at every phase. Crucially, when faced with an obstacle, an engaged employee will be better equipped to solve the issue ASAP.


Employee engagement encourages teamwork

When employees collaborate, they are 60% more innovative. Better still, it allows the organization to leverage success from collective knowledge.

Employee engagement that focuses on building trust in each other as well as the company’s innovation goals will yield valuable  results, especially when this extends to embracing ideas submitted by customers. The NASCAR Fan Council is a great example of how this works. Ultimately, human interactions will keep employees engaged and full of positive energy. As well as creating a team environment, it can often lead to healthy competition.


Engaged employees stay loyal

High staff turnover rates kill innovation and research shows that 79% of employees quit due to a lack of appreciation in the workplace. Employee engagement is the best way to stop this threat.

An employee who is engaged with their work will feel a sense of loyalty. It also makes them feel appreciated, part of a team, and as though they share a set of core values with their employer. When combined with the satisfaction of seeing innovations succeed, along with the increased enjoyment and improved work-life balance, employees won’t have a reason to leave. Over time, their experience may lead to even greater ideas.

The KICKBOX innovation program includes a host of tools and templates to keep employees engaged at every stage of the process. To learn more, request a demo today!

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