Aristotle is thought to have been the first person to mention the wisdom of the crowds. But he had no idea the power that future technology would bring to this wisdom. We are living in a time where this wisdom can be put into practice easily with the right tools.
In 2016, a large group of individuals were asked to submit their picks for the Kentucky Derby. Combining the favorites of all these individuals resulted in a winning pick that had 1 to 540 odds. The power of crowdsourcing is hard to deny.
Today, Amazon is letting everyday users come up with better responses for its Alexa voice assistant platform. The perfect example of crowdsourcing to find solutions to challenges.
Now imagine a world like Amazon’s, but where the power is given to employees. A once unheard voice from the front lines suddenly emerges with the best idea to solve a major business problem. Hierarchies are blown to smithereens. Employees feel empowered. These are the things that lead to major corporate culture shifts.
And the result? Happier, more productive, and highly innovative and motivated employees.
Lack of innovation in an enterprise often stems from employee dissatisfaction and company culture. It’s a fair assumption that if you improve the experience people have where they spend most of their waking hours, your business will benefit.
Let’s look at a few ways you can put crowdsourcing technology to work for you:
Empower Your Employees to Improve Their Own Experience
Although the term “crowdsourcing” is relatively new, the concept has been around for a long time. You may have even used it in the past in the form of customer surveys and feedback forms. But if that is all you are doing, you are not only missing out on gaining useful ideas that will improve your company. You’re also missing out on improving your employees’ experience by empowering them. Surveys are important. They put a finger on the pulse of how employees feel about the overall organization, its direction, its management, and environment. Add in crowdsourcing and you’ve broken barriers to innovation and satisfaction – that rubs off on every interaction an employee has with a customer, partner or colleague.
Aggregate the Expertise of Your Employees
Customer support specialists and sales staff interact with customers daily. They will know more about their customer’s needs than an executive who is separated by two or three layers of corporate structure. Software developers or IT managers may have important details about systems, while a director’s knowledge in the same area may be spotty. By sharing business challenges with a broader set of employees, you are opening up the floodgates of innovation.
Your employees possess a wealth of knowledge and crowdsourcing helps to bring this knowledge out in the open where your entire company can use it.
Change the Conversation in Your Company
The knowledge gained not only helps solve pressing challenges, but it also becomes a way for employees to communicate what they are learning and hearing on the front lines. It can literally shift the course of your organization. Instead of depending on perception, opinion, and sentiment, data collected from employees via surveys and crowdsourcing can bring insights that would have never been discovered using guesswork and assumptions. Crowdsourcing is the conversation opener.
Make Your Employees Strategic Partners
Employees like to have a voice, but being heard is not enough. They need to know that their feedback and input has value and that you’re using it to create new strategies to improve the company. Crowdsourcing allows an employee to submit their ideas in a safe environment where they can be sure that they are contributing to the future of their organization.
Leverage the Collective Creativity of Your Organization
The creative horsepower of your organization is what drives its innovation. In this age, where organizations disrupt past business models every day, your company needs to be on the lookout for ways to disrupt its own model before a competitor swoops in. Crowdsourcing can help you tap into the collective creativity of your company and harvest the most innovative ideas.
Breaking Hierarchies to Drive Innovation
Crowdsourcing allows employees to present their point of view, no matter where they are in your organizational chart. The data is what is important – not the identity of the employee. Voices that may never have been heard may come with the best ideas.
Allow Employees to Evolve Their Own Culture
Each team is unique. Recognize and support your teams’ diversity by giving them the power to define their own culture. You will notice a higher buy-in rate and a much more engaged team. Culture is an important component of today’s corporate environment. Crowdsourcing allows your employees to create their own.
Crowdsourcing Can Improve Every Part of Your Organization
Crowdsourcing improves employees’ experience. This is not just a theory – there are case studies that prove it. The following are some of the departments where crowdsourcing can make a difference and examples of how it helped improve employee experience:
The employees that work on the front-line know more about your customers than you do. They are there every day, making sure that your customer’s needs are satisfied and their problems are solved. Using Crowdicity, a crowdsourcing platform, Three UK asked their employees to submit stories of customer service done right. They also gave them the ability to nominate the efforts of their co-workers. The results were fantastic. Within one week, over 4000 employees were active on the crowdsourcing platform and a much more engaged group.
There is a lot of brainpower in the technology department of an enterprise. And to succeed in technology, you need constant innovation. Schroders uses Crowdicity to run its global Innovation Challenge, a recurring hackathon where employees work around the clock in a ‘shark tank’ like environment to bring new ideas to life. This hackathon was perfect for accelerating innovation by generating as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time.
Jewson, a Saint-Gobain brand, used Crowdicity to distill the collective ideas of their sales staff and customers to change the course of their business in their Kitchens category. The company as a whole was satisfied with the results because they helped create new strategies. And the result – 1400% return on investment.
Technology Plays a Vital Role in Hearing What Employees Have to Say
Creating a positive employee experience is a win-win for your company. Engaged employees will lead your company to better outcomes. You will free up brilliant business ideas, currently locked away in the minds of your employees, and break down hierarchies, so the best ideas see the light of day.
Technology empowers employees with a voice they never had and the power to solve business problems. It helps detect where problems in the organization lie and what needs to be addressed to attract and retain employees.
By using powerful employee and combining it with crowdsourcing technology, you can not only harvest new, creative ideas from your employees, but understand how your employees feel about their work and their company. When these areas are addressed, cultures flourish and the result is happier employees and therefore, happier customers and partners.