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The key to success !
Today many firms are making their employees the innovators of ideas and are leveraging employees' potential to ideate and collaboratively innovate. Experts say such initiatives are bringing in a culture of creative thinking amongst employees and motivating them
Ideas have the potential to change the world and it could come to anyone the only pre-requisite being the right time and right environment! India Inc is turning largely towards their employees for those great ideas that could change the organisation or process for better. Providing the right platform for innovation is what many organisations concentrate on now.
There are several positive factors favouring innovation. "Technological up gradation, out of box marketing, open door policy and work structure, fresh talent sourcing and joint ventures and alliances etc are few factors that bring in innovation," says Deepak Kaistha, director & managing partner, Planman HR Pvt. Ltd. According to Vijayaraghavan, deputy general manager, human resource, Stempeutics Research Private Limited there are four stages of a creative process, namely preparation, incubation, illumination, execution.
There are various ways through which organisations promote innovation within. Bharti AXA General Insurance hosts an annual ideation meet and a monthly employee contest called ¯Power of Ideas' through which all employees are encouraged to think of ideas which can make the organisation a better one for its stakeholders. "This is an online contest that is divided into three stages - idea collection, idea evaluation and idea implementation. Ideas are collected irrespective of department or area of specialisation. Special focus is paid to ensure that the employees are presented with specific topics or areas on which their ideas are required. Entries are invited on the clear parameters of improvement of team or individual efficiency, cost management, increase premium, create market differentiation, process improvement, improve work life balance etc. Out of these, the best ideas are rewarded," explains Dr Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, CEO, Bharti AXA General Insurance.
"Innovative ideas like car stickers with Bharti AXA helpline numbers (for customers of Motor insurance) had evolved from this contest, which helped the company to be more responsive to their customer's needs. The company also hosts annual ideation meet wherein the top executives come together to brainstorm on how to serve the customers better," adds Ananthanarayanan.
"To promote business innovation at Stempeutics, executive leaders are committed to these business practices, and institutionalise them in the culture, by training managers in these practices and then rewarding those who employ them successfully. "Some of the practices that create innovative culture at Stempeutics are, to cull out the most promising idea-generators and provide them with extra resources, we call them idea champs to create ¯buffer zones' for the most innovative people while we give innovators room to play, and also resist the temptation to look for immediate results, says Vijayaraghavan.
Experts feel that innovation must be recognised adequately so as to facilitate more innovation in future. "There is an appropriate reward for every qualified idea as well as a proportionately higher reward for implementing the idea. The ownership from idea to execution is completely with the ¯Idea Champ'. This applies to all functions at Stempeutics, including admin and HR," informs Vijayaraghavan. "I personally believe that recognition is a better tool than financial rewards. Such recognition should be made as public as possible and it should involve a high-ranking executive if relevant and possible. Recognition can also be accompanied by small gifts. Such recognition should of course also enhance the prospects of a promotion," feels Kaistha.
A conducive work environment, adequate recognition and rewards and an opportunity to nurture and turn their ideas into a reality is what employees look for from their employers. This could motivate them for think better and work better!
Priya C Nair
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