Does your company invest in employee ideas? I have the privilege of working for a company that values idea sharing to make the company better; from all levels. As a Client Services Coordinator, I spend most of my time providing on-boarding support and running payroll for our contractor base. I chose a career in human resources knowing that I will help maintain the services that our company offers. However, I do not directly impact our company’s bottom line through revenue and profit. The idea of being invited on an “incentive trip” is something that never crossed my mind since I knowingly traded in sandy beaches and margaritas for a steady income stream.

Last year, our President announced an inaugural incentive trip to take place in 2015 for our highest performing employees. It sounded great, but it wasn't until he announced that employees in non-producing roles would have the chance to qualify for this trip that my ears perked up. What great news! The members of our payroll, finance, and internal compliance teams would have an opportunity to celebrate the successes of Populus Group along with our top performers. How? There would be a Presidential Nomination for an employee in a non-producing role who demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit by sharing and implementing ideas that made our company better. At the end of the company call our President asked “How can we get you guys to share more ideas?”

That question sparked a few questions of my own. I thought to myself, “How are we sharing ideas now? What’s really keeping us from sharing more ideas?” My answer was: maybe we just don’t know how. The questions that I asked myself inspired an idea for a platform in which our internal employees could share their ideas with the community on a discussion board, partner with employees outside of their respective offices to present those ideas to leadership, and ultimately implement those ideas within our community. It was such a simple idea, but in 2014 it had a big impact for PG because it encouraged employees to share and implement ideas that directly impact our bottom line.

I have to admit, I was very surprised when I heard my name called as a Presidential Invite to the incentive trip and may have turned a bit red in the presence of my local teammates. The experience validated that our company really does value the thoughts and ideas of everyone in the company. Not only is the behavior of speaking up to making our company better encouraged; it is an expectation. 

How does your company invest in your ideas?