How to Boost Employee Creativity with Technology and Why You Should

A 2018 Deloitte survey of 500 companies—each with revenues somewhere between $100 million and just over $1 billion annually—found that approximately 57 percent of companies this size plan on spending even more on tech in the years ahead than they have in the past.

Additionally, how much these companies plan to spend in this one area varies. For instance, 45 percent indicated that tech will take up between one and five percent of their budget, whereas 33 percent say that this amount will likely exceed this range.

While bolstering technology offers a number of advantages in business, one of the most notable is that it boosts employee creativity. In fact, Northeastern University reports that this one factor alone can give a company a major advantage competitively. How?

3 Creativity-Based Technology Benefits

Big companies which solely focused on developing their products and services observe an incremental and sustaining growth. While it is a safe and easy approach, it doesn’t give much room to bring new ideas in no matter how radical the idea is. In reality, this is one common factor among big companies pursuing incremental growth that they lack innovation. That’s the reason an effort to manage innovation is a necessity to support an environment where new, radical or even disrupted ideas can take place.

Bentley University shares that businesses that use technology to exchange information electronically with employees gives them three basic benefits. The first is that it offers parallelism, or the ability for more people to share their ideas at the same time.

For instance, when companies use technology such as online meeting platforms, participants are better able to post their thoughts on a message board while the meeting takes place versus waiting for their turn to speak. Bentley explains that this not only increases participation by attendees, but it also increases the number of ideas being shared. The most introverts in your group are seen sharing their ideas freely on these platforms.

The second creativity-based benefit of using technology in business revolves around tech that enables staff to contribute new ideas anonymously. When this type of system is put in place, Bentley indicates that employees are able to give their input with less worry about being judged or called out. This encourages your more introverted staff to share their ideas in situations when they would normally remain silent.

The third reason to use technology to bolster employee creativity—thus also boosting your competitive advantage—is that it provides a way to instantly record ideas. By immediately recording every staff member’s input as it is given, your business is less likely to forget an idea that can potentially send it on an upward trajectory, both in innovation and profit.

Managing Creative Innovation

It’s also important to implement a system that enables you to keep track of all of your employee’s creative ideas. This is possible via technology such as online crowdsourcing platforms.

With this type of technology, you’re provided access to an internet-based platform that helps your company better identify which ideas have the most merit, offering the tools necessary to put the best ideas into action.

Use of a good innovation management solution also makes it possible to record and act on ideas submitted by others with a vested interest in your business, such as shareholders and customers.

Wondering how to choose the right tool?

Shortlisting a suitable innovation management tool is not as easy as it seems. But if you have a checklist in your hand, things get a lot easier. This checklist must include the following:

Prioritize your goals:

Just like we do before every new campaign. Sit and think “what exactly do you want to achieve”? Apart from your mainstream goals such as being competitive and agile, think about what other smaller things are achievable in your scope. Just note them down and discuss it with your team. You must be wondering why it is necessary.

This is essential because it will help you filter out the suitable ones among the pool of tools. Also this will give you and your team an innovative flow while being industry specific.

Make your own research:

Research is key everywhere. And when you have clear goals in hand, your research becomes refined. So start doing your research on vendors and read about their offerings. Read objective reviews, get a demo, be familiar with the features, characteristics and their different use-cases. The internet is full of a-Z lists of innovation management tools. The best part is that such lists are not biased and are only for you to gather information. Pick the one that suits you the most.

Start testing:

It’s time to start the real fun. Pick one at a time and start trying out the software. However it may take a few tries to finally decide upon one. From your research, pick the one that offers free trials and start piloting. Also, free versions are a good signal that vendor believes in their product enough to get you hooked.

Make up your mind:

Although, it may seem an exhausting checklist, if the perfect tool that you are looking for doesn’t exist at all. So just “keep at it”. You try out dozens of tools with a sole purpose of success and what. You are still staring at your empty palms. No gain at all. You return back to your drawing board and alter your goals to be more achievable. But the first thing you will do is to “Give up”

Never give up stick to one that seem the most suitable to you and just keep at it.

The more people you can include in your company’s creativity process, the better your pool of ideas and the greater your chances of coming up with a new strategy, product, or plan that can put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.