New Survey: Incentivizing Employees to Innovate

(This post originally appeared on Innovation Excellence)

More and moreto-be-or-not-to-be-thats-the-question-257x300 businesses view innovation as a new paradigm for achieving competitive advantage. Now businesses must focus on how to make the innovation process more effective. Experts and innovation practitioners agree that innovation programs thrive in organizations that have established a culture of innovation. They also agree that a culture of innovation is first and foremost a culture of employee engagement: for innovation programs to succeed, organizations must ensure employee participation in these programs.

A question then arises: should organizations incentivize employee participation in innovation programs? Opinions diverge on this issue. Some argue that innovation is based on creativity, and creativity relies mostly on intrinsic motivators, such as natural curiosity or thrill of solving a difficult problem. Extrinsic motivators, including financial incentives, can therefore do little to make a person more innovative. Others insist that innovation is not different from other business processes; consequently, established corporate incentives (formal and informal, monetary and non-monetary) should be used to reward and recognize innovation activities.

To gain more insight into this issue, Doug Williams of IX Research and I are conducting a study to evaluate whether and how employee engagement increases the efficiency of innovation programs. The research aims to answer the following key questions:

  • Does employee engagement have a positive impact on the success of innovation programs?
  • Do organizations provide incentive to employees to encourage participation in
    innovation programs?
  • What specific forms of recognition or reward do organizations use to encourage employee participation in innovation programs?

Whether you’re a seasoned innovation practitioner or just thinking about establishing innovation programs in your organization, we want to know your opinion. You can participate in the study by using the following link.  Those who complete the survey will receive a copy of the aggregate survey results. The data we gather will be used to develop an IX Research report that provides guidance and recommendations to corporate innovation teams, human resources departments, and C-suite executives about how best to engage employees in the innovation process.

About Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov is the Founder of (WoC)2, an innovation consultancy that helps organizations extract maximum value from the wisdom of crowds by coordinated use of internal and external crowdsourcing.
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