Rewarding Good Ideas
– Acknowledge contribution
Semco’s most precious asset is the wisdom of its workforce, and our success grows out of our employees’ success. – Ricardo Semler
In a Nutshell
Great ideas are how companies keep innovating and staying relevant. We are now past the school of thought where employees were expected to only be seen and not heard. The C-suite is no longer the sole gatekeeper of ideas that can make the business better. Pioneered by 3M and popularized by Google, there are many schemes where employees are allowed time-off to work on projects that can improve the company. It is common knowledge that innovation comes from people and it is vital to foster the creation of ideas.
However, in order to keep employees engaged, it is important to reward these ideas appropriately. Many employees agree that the quality of their company’s recognition programs affects their performance, but only a fraction of them are satisfied with these efforts.
Companies often make the mistake of defining rewards as bonuses or financial incentives. While they do have their place, they may not always be possible depending on the company performance or employee needs. They may not always be the best way to reward creativity. There are also other factors like, for example, if the recognition is private or public; whether it is intellectual or physical; and, these factors are affected by each employee’s motivation. With so much subjectivity, companies can explore subjective, but transparent, reward mechanisms that tie the value of the idea to each employee’s personal motivation.