How a culture of innovation helps organizations attract and retain top candidates

A shared trait among our clients’ top candidates, no matter their function or industry, is the desire to innovate. 

While many organizations claim to value innovation from every one of their team members, few have structured routes, or “idea infrastructure,” to ensure everyone’s feedback is being considered.

In this article, we share examples of idea infrastructure from different organizations and explain how these systems attract and retain A-level talent.

Leveling the innovation playing field:

It’s easy to tell employees their ideas are welcome and valued, but when you create a dedicated process to collect and review feedback, you prove that statement to be true. 

Some companies still use physical suggestion boxes, while others host a weekly stand up to candidly share ideas. Some companies have even enlisted online idea portals for employees to send comments in the form of notes, pictures or drawings. 

No matter how it’s done, having some type of idea infrastructure in place encourages people from all levels of the organization to share ideas and spark innovation.

Attracting the right talent:

If your organization can prove that it encourages and values innovation, you will be one step closer to bringing your top candidates on board. 

Pointing to your organization’s idea infrastructure during the hiring process lets potential new hires know their ideas will be valued should they accept an offer. Instead of joining a team that has already accepted an existing status quo, candidates will view the opportunity as a means to enact real change. 

Once an offer is accepted, idea infrastructure also plays a huge role in employee retention. If a team member feels unhappy or unproductive in their role, having a dedicated route to share innovative solutions allows them to take ownership of their work and make change as needed. This is the key to long-term organizational success.

The takeaway:

Innovation can come from anywhere within an organization at any time, but it must be captured, nurtured and rewarded. Whether your organization uses a wooden box or an online portal, having idea infrastructure in place is the best way to spark innovation. And even when your company does have a system in place, ensure that senior leaders are reviewing comments from everyone equally. This way, no good idea will ever be overlooked.