As organizations prioritize tapping into the collective knowledge of their employees, the value of human capital is increasingly clear. This goes beyond seeking the input of executives, leadership, and your innovation department—to seeking the perspective of everyone in the office.
In-office crowdsourcing has become a popular way to maximize creativity, productivity, and collaboration. In this blog, we look at how it can lighten leaders’ load, ensure employee inclusion, build effective teams, and increase retention. Also, how employee input improves innovation and outcomes.
Understanding Human Capital
Human capital is a term used to describe the economic value of the collective skills, knowledge, and abilities of all individuals within your organization.
This includes the diverse range of:
- Intrinsic skills
- Extrinsic skills
- Life experience
Unlike financial capital, human capital is intangible. That being said, when leveraged properly, it can be your most valuable asset—as it is what differentiates you from your competitors. Properly utilizing human capital increases productivity, innovation, and profitability. It even makes your organization a more desirable place to work.
Like any other asset, human capital can depreciate. This is why you must continually reinvest in your team through training, new technology, and empowering them to innovate through in-office crowdsourcing and other collaborative strategies.
Now, let’s dive into the value of leveraging your team.
#1 Lightning Leaders’ Load
Everyone from your executive team to your middle managers and innovation department feels the pressure to deliver new strategies. While the creative constraints and final decisions may fall on your leadership team, ideation can be a company-wide or interdepartmental collaborative process.
Crowdsourcing minimizes the age-old “top-down” approach and empowers leaders to access a wide range of skills and experiences. For internal innovations, you access those who have a deep first-hand understanding of your internal processes.
In addition to lightning leaders’ load, you are likely to generate ideas that are more relevant to those who will implement and benefit from the ideas you move forward with.
#2 Narrow Down Ideation
Whether from your leadership team, your innovation department, or group collaboration, consider crowdsourcing to evaluate and narrow down your shortlist.
This can be facilitated through a short presentation of each idea, a Q&A session, and (if relevant) hands-on testing. Then your employees can vote on the idea to move forward with.
Or the process could be a bit more open. You could open up the floor for ideation and feedback early on in the innovation process. This is valuable, as your team is likely to uncover areas of opportunity that you are unaware of. Or aware of, but have yet to comprehend the nuances of.
Either way, this collaborative approach can strengthen and narrow down your ideas.
Inclusion is the process of creating an environment where all individuals, regardless of their differences, can participate fully. In the workplace, this means creating a culture where everyone is valued and respected, and all employees are given equal opportunities to contribute and succeed. When speaking of crowdsourcing, inclusion allows access and input from everyone regardless of their tenure, skills, or position.
Inclusion is not only important for employee satisfaction and well-being, but it is also essential for maximizing human capital and productivity. However, diversity without inclusion doesn’t generate the same outcomes. Creating an inclusive workplace requires you to be proactive in developing policies and practices that promote diversity in the workplace. Then, ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table and the time to be heard.
#4 Feeling Valued and Respected
Creating a culture in which everyone feels safe, respected, and valued is essential for success of every kind, and an integral part of leveraging your human capital. If you don’t trust your team, or they don’t trust you, they won’t provide honest feedback—or be confident enough to share their new ideas with you. A lack of trust also hinders innovation.
Crowdsourcing and other collaborative processes demonstrate your respect for your employees’ knowledge and experience. You won’t move forward with every idea presented to you, but respecting your team enough to be part of the process makes them feel like the invaluable assets that they are.
You also need to integrate individual acknowledgment and team acknowledgment, but company-wide crowdsourcing from within is an essential element for employee motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction.
#5 Team Building
Although it is not the primary purpose behind in-office crowdsourcing, crowdsourcing doubles as team building. This is especially true for initiatives that require live or virtual group sessions. But even if it’s a detailed electronic survey or Q&A, it gets your team thinking and talking.
Team building is an important part of any successful business. It helps create an environment where employees are engaged and motivated to work for the common goal of the company. Team building activities are designed to help build trust and develop communication skills among team members, and also foster better relationships between management and employees.
By investing in human capital, you can reap the rewards of improved cooperation, productivity, and morale, which can have a positive effect on the overall success of your organization.
Leverage crowdsourcing technology to organize your live and digital data and to strategize and scale your innovations.
#6 Perks and Incentives
Perks and incentives serve as motivation and employee recognition, both of which increase the engagement in and quality of your in-office crowdsourcing. They also reinforce your core values and create a culture of appreciation.
Consider the needs and motivations of your employees when developing your perks and incentives to ensure you are providing meaningful rewards. From cash bonuses to gift cards, paid time off, gym memberships, and more.
If you aren’t sure what to offer as a reward, ask your team!
#7 Employee Retention
We are in the day and age of job hopping. It’s an employee’s market, you are competing with global hiring managers, and employees have the luxury to be selective. Providing the opportunity to collaborate and the positive ripple effect that comes with crowdsourcing can help you attract and retain top talent.
Like all of the items on this list, crowdsourcing is just one of many strategies that can improve your retention rates. Investing in employee retention delivers long-term benefits and helps create a more positive and profitable work environment.
Utilizing human capital effectively can help to improve the success of in-office crowdsourcing projects and create a more productive and successful environment. Leaders should create a culture of trust and inclusion and offer incentives to keep employees motivated and engaged.
If you are in need of an innovation platform to organize and scale your internal or external crowdsourcing—reach out to IdeaScale for your free demo!