In part one of this post, we looked at the importance of employee engagement programs and how effective new crowdsourcing tools like IdeaScale can be for the bottom line across the Enterprise. Not all programs are created equal, so here are five crucial steps to follow to guarantee successful employee engagement:
Step No. 1: Moderate Early and Often
One important aspect of your employee engagement initiative involves planning for every type of moderation scenario. Things such as, “How should I respond when an employee mouths off or uses inappropriate language?” or “What if an employee posts sensitive information?” need to be planned out ahead of time. Designate who will moderate the feedback community and then walk through role playing exercises to practice various responses.
IdeaScale and most other employee engagement tools give you the option to automatically flag inappropriate language into a quarantine or moderation queue not viewable by the general audience. Once placed into this queue, your moderators can review the questionable content and decide if it can be made public or not.
Step No. 2: Seed Your Community
When employees first visit the site, don’t leave them with just a blank page. Pick 5-10 topics areas that you’d like to discuss and add in some relevant ideas for each of those categories. Next, consider rolling out the site in stages, inviting a larger audience each time. For example, start by inviting high level officers/executives, then managers, and finally project managers. This will ensure that you set the tone of the discussion and show a clear direction for the community.
Step No. 3: Choose Your Security Scheme
Obviously, most companies want to keep their discussions among employees free from prying eyes. Employee feedback tools such as IdeaScale, when set to the highest moderation level, prevent users from accessing the community until they’ve been granted permissions. There are many powerful yet simple techniques to create private communities. They include…
- Email-based access restrictions – only employees with a company assigned email address are able to sign-up and participate (ie, firstname.lastname@example.org). Anyone else would be denied access.
- Invite-only access restrictions – upload a list of approved users (email addresses). Only users that are part of this approved access list are given permission to participate in the community.
- Single Sign-on – community members can simply login to their company intranet as they normally would – security is then provided by the corporate authentication system (Active Directory, LDAP, etc).
Step No. 4: Respect Users Privacy
Some of the best ideas come from employees that are too afraid to open their mouth for fear of retribution from their direct manager. This is why high-level executives crave un-bashed feedback… but all too often don’t get it. How can the important decision-makers get uncensored feedback from all corners of the organization?
To foster this level of feedback, it’s important for the community administrator to respect all levels of privacy with the employee. It must be made clear throughout the communication process that they will have the option to hide their identity. IdeaScale gives employees the option to mask their identity when they submit an idea, vote, or comment. The honest feedback this level of privacy invites is often the most valuable and actionable.
Step No. 5: Get Real With Incentives
Finally, be sure to introduce some compelling incentives for users to participate in your community. While evidence shows that a well-executed employee engagement program can operate without any prizes or monetary rewards, proper incentives guarantee success. Have you even been asked to fill out a survey, with the allure of “…a chance to win a $5 Starbucks gift card!” or “…a gift certificate to the Thomas Kinkaid store.”? Lets face–they’re never worth your time! So don’t insult your employees with cheap gifts or pithy awards. Choose an incentive that reflects the value of their feedback. Consider cash prizes to the top 20 ideas that are submitted or a chance to have lunch with an executive of their choice.
Get Started Now
If IdeaScale is the vehicle, the five steps above are the rocket fuel to get you off and running with a high-performance employee engagement program. With programs starting at $0, IdeaScale is a perfect crowdsourcing solution to leverage your employees valuable ideas and feedback.
- Create a private IdeaScale community: http://support.ideascale.com/faqs/ideascale-moderation/private-community
- IdeaScale – private identities: http://support.ideascale.com/faqs/communities/hiding-your-identityanonymous-posts
- Ascentum: www.ascentum.com
Ascentum is a Professional Services and Technology firm that specializes in public participation and social media services. Ascentum has been involved in numerous citizen and employee engagement initiatives in the public, business and not-for-profit sectors. Visit http://www.ascentum.com for more information.