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With the meteoric rise of Microsoft Teams, new opportunities for employee-led innovation arise, removing the obstacles of engagement.
With 145 million people now logging into Microsoft Teams every single day (yes, 145 million!), companies are seizing the opportunity for an easier way for employees to share and collaborate around their ideas from directly within Teams.
And now, it’s easier than ever!
With new Teams apps like Ideas by Sideways 6, companies can create a dedicated space for ideas within Microsoft Teams with access to all the functionality of a fully equipped idea-management software.
But, why is Teams so appealing for running employee ideas campaigns?
Below, we’ve outlined 9 key reasons you should move your idea management process to Microsoft Teams, with links to resources to help get you started on your innovation journey.
Why make it hard for people to share their ideas?
With employees already using Microsoft Teams for day-to-day collaboration, the tool provides the perfect space for anyone to share their idea in just a couple of clicks, without having to download, sign-up, log in and learn a new tool.
You don't need more tools.
You need your tools to do more.
----- Chris Sheen, CMO at Sideways 6 -----
All you have to do is go onto Teams and access your ideas campaign on the sidebar. From here, you can submit an idea or view other ideas from your colleagues and peers, without any fuss or hassle.
In fact, it's so easy, even a dog could do it! Check out Bertie the Beagle sharing his idea on Teams in the video below...
Did you know?
Companies generate 56% more ideas when they make the move to Microsoft Teams compared with traditional methods such as online forms.
The speed and simplicity of sharing an idea in Microsoft Teams means that employees are more likely to share an idea, and more likely to engage in collaboration around other ideas from elsewhere in the business, helping you to drive an internal culture of intrapreneurship.
Teams is as good on mobile as it is on desktop.
Inspiration can strike at any moment so, naturally, when an employee has an idea, they'll want to submit it wherever they may be, and more often than not, that's away from a desktop.
Did you know?
62% of employee ideas submitted on Microsoft Teams are submitted via mobile.
Luckily, Teams has been specifically designed to fully support mobile usage, so employees can use Teams on their phone as easily as they can on their desktop.
The ease of mobile use also allows you to collect ideas from the employees that know the business the most intimately – frontline workers.
Oftentimes, frontline workers feel loathed to use tech that simply doesn’t work very well on mobile, meaning that there’s often a lack of engagement in new tech from these employees.
Due to Microsoft Teams being so efficient on mobile, frontline workers are likely to share ideas at any time, from anywhere, providing you with the key insights that can often be missed from employees elsewhere in the business.
The people out on the frontline know when things are not going right, and they know when things need to be improved.
Their ideas are what can turn an average company into an exceptional one.
----- Richard Branson -----
Teams has been specifically created to aid collaboration, therefore it's perfectly equipped to support innovation initiatives.
With chats, calls, and meetings features, everyone in the business is already working together on Teams. Running your ideas program on Teams means employees are able to collaborate within a digital environment that feels familiar to them.
After all, the best and brightest ideas are the ones that have been developed by groups of people coming together with different perspectives and insights. So, having a space where collaboration flows naturally is essential to running a successful employee ideas campaign.
Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.
----- Steve Jobs -----
Teams provides that dedicated space where transparency and openness lie at the center of collaboration, allowing employees to come together and innovate as a group.
With the ability to pin an ideas app to the sidebar within Teams, you have a dedicated space for ideas that is consistently visible and available to all employees. This serves as a consistent reminder to your employees that their ideas are important to the organization.
With the 'Ideas by Sideways 6' app, you can customize and brand your app in the Teams sidebar. Being able to personalize the app helps make it feel like a home for employee ideas, inspiring them to share their ideas and really own the innovation process.
Did you know?
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. (Source: Forbes)
Having transparency around employee ideas and showing employees that their opinion counts will inevitably drive employee engagement and empower employees to do their best work.
Naturally, not every single person in your company is going to have an idea.
However, whether you have an idea or not, Teams involves everyone in the process of innovation as employees can interact with other ideas, vote for the ones they like, and offer any assistance, insights or additional thoughts via comments.
The inclusive nature of innovation in Teams ensures that no employee feels left out or inadequate; there’s an open space for employees to share and collaborate, contributing in any way they please.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.
It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
----- Andrew Carnegie -----
No logins. No learning. No new tech. Employees can share an idea at the click of a button.
With Teams, you can overcome the adoption challenge as you don’t have to bombard your employees with encouragement to download a new app or learn a new platform.
Did you know?
80% of collaboration efforts fail due to lack of adoption (Source: Gartner)
Anyone who has tried to roll out a new tool at a large organization will know what a challenge it is. You try, fail, hire change consultants, have meetings, hold a review... With Teams, you skip all of that. Your audience is already using the tool every day.
Moving your idea management process to Microsoft Teams allows you to meet your employees where they already are to listen to their ideas.
Employees are then also more likely to share an idea within Teams as they can do so in a familiar space that they are comfortable using.
No matter how effective or powerful a new software solution is, it is only as good as the number of people using it.
----- Phillip Kushmaro -----
The only thing worse than not being able to share your idea is sharing an idea and then feeling as though it has been ignored or forgotten.
Did you know?
In Teams, you already have activity notifications keeping you updated around various posts and reactions within the platform. It, therefore, seems natural to capitalize on this feature to communicate idea updates and progress to employees.
Employees receive updates about their own ideas sent directly to them. All activity notifications are personal so employees are kept updated on what matters specifically to them.
Keeping your employees updated around the progress of their idea ensures that they aren’t left feeling ignored or forgotten, which helps to maintain engagement in your ideas campaign throughout its duration.
With Teams, there is complete transparency for employees on their ideas, as well as ideas from across the company.
Idea submitters can see where their own and other ideas are in the pipeline and also the development of ideas.
Employees follow the journey of an idea from being a single spark all the way through to being chosen as a winner. Not only can the idea submitter follow this journey, but all of their peers as well, encouraging them to share their own ideas, nurturing a positive feeling within the company.
This transparency adds to the open environment of idea campaigns in Teams, everything is accessible and on display for employees, helping to create a more inclusive and open culture of collaboration and innovation.
Today, power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.
----- Dharmesh Shah -----
Employees won’t feel lost or alienated from the campaign, but rather they are brought right into the core of the innovation process, empowering them through involvement.
With employees already on Teams, you can launch your campaign to the whole company with the click of a button.
Your customized app icon will appear on all of your employees’ Teams sidebars, meaning that your innovation/ideas campaign is launched to each and every employee without any hassle.
You also have the ability to send launch messages, build excitement and start with a bang as you can reach everyone in the business with the click of a single button
The seamless nature of the launch allows you to focus on what’s important, like branding your campaign and promoting it, without having to worry about driving the adoption of a new tool.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
----- Albert Einstein -----
And there you have it! Our 9 key reasons why you should think about moving your employee ideas program to Microsoft Teams.
If you’re interested in discovering more about idea management on Microsoft Teams, check out our Ultimate Guide to Idea Management on Microsoft Teams, or, for tips and best practices about running your campaign within Teams, you can read How to run an employee ideas campaign on Microsoft Teams.
For a detailed, all-inclusive, best-practice framework of everything we've learned on how to run a successful employee ideas campaign, check out The s6 Model™.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this article, we'd love to hear from you at email@example.com. Happy innovating!
Ideas from Anywhere™
Sideways 6 exists to help bring good ideas to life every day, everywhere from everyone.»