8 Tips for Recognizing and Rewarding Innovation

Posted by Melissa Meunier on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 @ 11:00 AM


Recognition can do more than just drive performance and engagement. It can encourage deep collaboration and drive innovation. With just 10 percent of organizations believing they are doing an adequate job of encouraging innovation, there is plenty of room for improvement.

Driving innovation in your organization starts with a culture that inspires and recognizes ideas, not just the results. It also takes a strategy that includes actions to address failure because not every idea is going to be a success. That’s why we’ve put together eight tips to help you build a program that recognizes and rewards innovation across your organization:

Tip No. 1 | Recognize and Reward Behavior - Not Just The Results

Rewarding based only on results can stop people from being collaborative or from sharing ideas.

Tip No. 2 | Stoke Employees’ Intrinsic Motivators

Rewards can be a great part of the innovation process, but don’t let them get in the way of achieving the end goal: a more innovative organization.

Tip No. 3 | Unlock Peer Recognition

Innovative companies like 3M rely heavily on employees to encourage innovation.  Fellow employees can build off their co-workers’ ideas and – because peers are in charge of recognition – they make the decision on whom to recognize.

Tip No. 4 | Set Aside Time for Innovation

Allow innovation to happen during regular work hours. Companies like Google empower employees to devote a certain amount of time to projects and ideas that can help the organization.

Tip No. 5 | Innovation Can Happen Anywhere

Whether someone is in an administrative, sales or support role there is room for innovation in processes, cost savings, and other areas. Collaborative, cross-functional work groups can be used to include all areas of the organization and spark innovative ideas.

Tip No. 6 | Recognize Internal Innovations

Recognizing the ideas that are driving the organization forward across all areas of the business can encourage more wide-ranging participation.

Tip No. 7 | Create A Culture of Innovation

Everyone across the organization should have a voice in both innovating and recognizing innovation, not simply leadership

Tip No. 8 | Spread Recognition Across Projects

Reward and recognize employees through the project, especially when you reach critical milestones.  Celebrate big when the project finally launches.

Most organizations do not have a formal mechanism for encouraging and rewarding collaboration and innovation. However, we know when employees are encouraged that anything is possible, they are motivated to do more. When they see their ideas were instrumental to the final result and they were recognized for their efforts they are more likely to repeat the behaviors in the future.


Topics: employee recognition

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