Want to increase collaboration and engagement at your company? Good idea.

Employees are more likely to feel engaged if they are actively contributing to your company rather than just implementing orders from ‘on high’.

The [Harvard Business review] study found that 71 per cent of managers feel employee engagement is one of the most important factors in overall organisational success.

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One easy way to achieve higher employee engagement, is to invite everyone to share their product ideas in a welcoming online space. For this, you’ll need some kind of idea management software.

illustration of a creative team

Online idea management vs offline

Although offline idea management like team idea days or workshops can work really well, there are a few downsides:

Unconfident employees are less likely to approach you with out-of-the box ideas, teach themselves a new coding language, or apply for that promotion where they would excel.

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This is why online idea management software – like Feature Upvote – is increasingly popular. Feature Upvote makes it easy for all employees to suggest and vote on feedback, no matter where they are located or how confident (or not) they feel in group environments.

By asking people to add feedback online, you are more likely to hear from a wide range of voices – not just from the ‘usual’ ones. This was the experience of one of our customers:

It’s nice to have a balance of different opinions coming in from people who wouldn’t want that conversation in person in front of the board or with people with forceful opinions.

Using voting to manage and prioritise ideas

Inviting your employees to suggest ideas for your company is a positive step. However, unless you can manage all these ideas you’ll gain very few insights – and cause yourself a lot of extra work.

To manage and qualify employee ideas, choose idea management software with in-built voting functionality. This way, you can quickly see which ideas are most popular with your entire team.

You don’t have to manage and prioritise ideas yourself or deal with duplicate suggestions. You also don’t have to make value judgements about which ideas to keep and which to bin. The less popular ideas naturally sink down the ideas board.

You can always try an online ideas board and see if it works for your company.

21st century stores pilot ideas board 21Century Stores is trying out an employee idea board using Feature Upvote.

Make the ideas process transparent (and exciting)

If an intern or new employee suggests an idea and it gains 40 votes and moves up the idea board, how do they feel feel? Pleased? Quite probably!

Although giving feedback to product managers at the water cooler should feel like a nice experience (“Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. That’s an interesting idea,”), it is a closed conversation. You’re not always sure what happens to that feedback, if anything.

With idea management software, everyone should be able to see suggestions. There’s a sense of community and transparency. Plus when an idea is implemented and tagged with the status ‘DONE’ the employee who suggested it can feel a real sense of pride and public achievement.

Idea status showing done Make employees feel appreciated by showing them publicly that their idea has been implemented

Here are 10 software solutions that should help make idea management easier, more inclusive and more likely to surface great ideas.

Try Feature Upvote for free

Feature Upvote is simple ideas management software with no learning curve for contributors. Get started immediately.

Make your company stronger through communication.