New Survey: Incentivizing Employees to Innovate

by Eugene Ivanov and Doug Williams

More and more businesses view innovation as a new paradigm for achieving competitive advantage

Now businesses must focus on how to make the innovation process more effective. Experts and innovation practitioners agree that innovation programs thrive in organizations that have established a culture of innovation. They also agree that a culture of innovation is first and foremost a culture of employee engagement: for innovation programs to succeed, organizations must ensure employee participation in these programs.

A question then arises: should organizations incentivize employee participation in innovation programs? Opinions diverge on this issue:

Some argue that innovation is based on creativity, and creativity relies mostly on intrinsic motivators, such as natural curiosity or thrill of solving a difficult problem. Extrinsic motivators, including financial incentives, can therefore do little to make a person more innovative. Others insist that innovation is not different from other business processes; consequently, established corporate incentives (formal and informal, monetary and non-monetary) should be used to reward and recognize innovation activities.

To gain more insight into this issue…

We’re leading an Innovation Excellence Research study to evaluate whether and how employee engagement increases the efficiency of innovation programs. The research aim is to answer three key questions:

  • Does employee engagement have a positive impact on the success of innovation programs?
  • Do organizations provide incentive to employees to encourage participation in innovation programs?
  • What specific forms of recognition or reward do organizations use to encourage employee participation in innovation programs?

Whether you’re a seasoned innovation practitioner or just thinking about establishing innovation programs in your organization, we want to know your opinion. You can participate in the study by clicking the image above or by using the following link.  Those who complete the survey will receive a copy of the aggregate survey results. The data we gather will be used to develop an IX Research report that provides guidance and recommendations to corporate innovation teams, human resources departments, and C-suite executives about how best to engage employees in the innovation process.

image credit: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

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Internal Innovation Networks - foundation for successEugene Ivanov is innovation management consultant helping organizations establish and implement internal and external innovation programs. He also assists them in selecting and defining R&D problems that can be successfully solved by using crowdsourcing approaches. He tweets at @eugeneivanov101 and writes the blog Innovation Observer


Announcing IX Research: Research for Innovation PractitionersDoug Williams, Chief Research Officer and Principal Analyst, leads the development of IX Research. Doug is the primary author of IX Research‘s syndicated research reports, and is responsible for the development of the IX Research Panel and IX Custom Research lines of business. A former analyst at Forrester Research and JupiterResearch, he launched and led Forrester’s innovation and co-creation practice for product strategy professionals. He authored 36 highly rated Forrester Research reports on innovation, open innovation, and co-creation, and was the primary author and developer of Forrester’s Open Innovation playbook. Doug tweets from @DougWilliamsMHD