Empowering Your Team Members by Giving Credit to Good Ideas
“So many ideas are great but get lost along the way”
-Jessica Bergmann, Demandware
Quality ideas are a marketing lifeline, but it takes the support of a good team to bring them into reality. Yet with the fast, crazy pace of the marketing cycle, team members can feel like they’re on a never-ending wheel of idea generation with little payoff.
Why not give the members of your team the reward they secretly (or not so secretly) desire, while also pumping up morale and infusing their work with a sense of personal ownership?
This may sound like a tall order, but it pays dividends. The key is finding simple, consistent ways to give your team credit for their good ideas as part of a systematized ideation process—and making it easy to implement.
Simple Ways to Build a Strong Ideation Process and Recognition Exchange
“In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, two of the most valuable psychological needs we have as human beings are the need to be appreciated and the need to ‘belong.’ Psychologically, humans require the social reinforcement and validation of feeling like we belong among our peers and are appreciated by them.” —Forbes
Recognizing others for their valued contribution is good business practice and a very powerful way to help fulfill a basic human need.
A feeling of acceptance and appreciation also makes a person more willing to share ideas they might otherwise keep to themselves, and instills a sense of empowerment when the idea turns into something real.
Things to Consider When Empowering Your Team in Simple Ways:
1. Start with simple, meaningful ways to share credit frequently. Make recognition part of a weekly meeting or gathering to bring in the peer-support element. Also, offer a simple way for team members to bring attention to the contributions of their coworkers. When you give credit frequently, it shows you value your team in their daily work—not just at the end of a project. Good ideas are the lifeblood of any thriving business, so honor the sources of those ideas as much as possible.
2. Make it easy to contribute ideas and get feedback in a supportive way. Simple is always best. Provide an open, safe environment to share ideas in an online platform like Kapost or as part of a meeting. Combine sharing with doing by offering a clear timeline for feedback. This transforms the act of sharing an idea into a contribution with respected value, paired with a timeline to put it into action.
3. Take action on ideas, instead of letting them pile up with no clear path to execution. The big challenge of content is that a majority of it ends up getting put on a shelf, which is not only frustrating, but also makes your team members feel like there’s no point in coming up with more. If you have a simple system that puts your approved ideas into motion quickly, you can make progress and actively put people’s ideas into action. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing how one little idea grows and moves along the path to successful execution.
4. Get your team focused on a worthy goal, and give them the right tools to do the job. When all of your resources are pulled together on a focused goal, your team has buy-in and they feel empowered to make it happen, together. The community effort also provides a special kind of fulfillment that one never gets when working on a project using a silo approach.
5. Celebrate good problem solving. Stuck with a bear of a problem that was eloquently solved by a team member? Celebrate it! With the diverse skills each person brings to the workplace, it’s nice when a unique contribution is tied to solving a specific problem that saved money, increased efficiency, or helped a customer stay on board.
6. Say thank you more often. While self explanatory, saying “thank you” combines recognition with gratitude. If you’re mindful of sharing appreciation in a meaningful way, you open the door for people to feel it’s safe to share ideas.
So where are all your marketing ideas? In action or trapped in a file folder with no buy-in, focus, or timeline?
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