One of the most exciting trends currently being utilized in pursuit of innovation is the incentivizing and gamifying of participation. Not only is it helpful and successful for the organizations which are using these strategies, it’s also great for participants who get to reap the rewards of their good ideas.
KANE, a third-party logistics provider working with consumer packaged goods companies, has recently started incentivizing their requisite employee innovation. In 2012, KANE outlined new expectations for improvement, with two of the named goals being one idea for every two associates, and a minimum of 1% cost savings or revenue growth as a result of associate-generated ideas.
Going on three years of successful innovation, IdeaScale is now introduced to new KANE associates during orientation. Innovation is part of the organizational culture, and KANE has introduced an incentive wherein associates receive rewards for ideas which are implemented. At KANE, the incentive is an amount of KANE cash which can be translated into items or gift certificates.
Other organizations are working on more of a gamified method of innovation. Implementation of gamification might look something like this: an organization wants to test out a new product or program before it is released to the public, and they want input from current employees, BUT they want employees to volunteer their time in testing. Unsurprisingly, employees are not eager to do additional work for free in their spare time. So the organization introduces a game where players receive a letter in exchange for a completed task. The end goal is to collect all the letters that spell out a certain word—for example, the name of the new product or of the organization itself. Further layers can be added by providing the opportunity to level up, which gives participants the feeling of moving forward. All of these outcomes and checkpoints serve as methods of recognition, which is incredibly important to participants in innovation.
KANE utilizes gamification too, by introducing competition between departments. Competition can be an incredibly driving factor in innovation, even if there is no tangible reward at the end. After all, everybody wants to be part of a winning team or idea.
To find out more about KANE, click here to read about how they are using incentives to innovate.