11 Feb 2022
5 min read
Why Employees Stop Sharing Ideas
11 Feb 2022
5 min read
What Stops Employees From Sharing Their Ideas?
Do you think of your workplace as an idea hub, where employees come up with new product ideas and other new innovation and improvement ideas on a regular basis? Or is it a quiet place where everyone just completes their tasks and goes home at the end of the day?
If you answered with a “no” to the first question and “yes” to the other one, then your business likely runs like most others, and that’s fine. However, creating an atmosphere where new ideas can flourish and are quickly passed around would give your company a substantial competitive edge. Not to mention the growth in revenue that the improvement ideas would bring. In our 20 years of consulting experience and from the data gathered from the companies that use the Agreed software, we have seen how ingrained negativity bias causes people to stifle a lot of valuable ideas. As humans, we’re conditioned to allow negative impressions to form more quickly than positive ones. We also have an inherent bias against going into unknown territory.
But in today’s world, where innovation rules the day, these ingrained behavioral biases that hinder new ideas and stifle creative solutions need to be a thing of the past. After a careful analysis of our clients, we have come up with the following reasons why employees stop sharing ideas in the workplace.
Nobody is listening
One of the biggest issues in some of the highest-performing organizations is that most employees are practically convinced that their ideas won’t be taken into account or even heard. People bring up something once or twice, and if it isn’t acknowledged, then they won’t talk about it anymore. No one wants to bother their colleagues.In almost all of our cases, we saw employees who said they had stopped sharing their ideas and improvement plans because they had never heard back from other ideas they had shared with their higher-ups.
This case reveals how critical it is to have a structured, formalized communication process in place before and after an idea is pitched. Having a platform where you can pitch, draft valuable ideas, and have other colleagues chime in and contribute is a great way to spark creativity and get recognition for your ideas. Idea leaders can share their ideas, invite colleagues to add in their expert opinions, and also track the development of their ideas all in one place.
2. Ideas are turned down regularly
Executives, leaders, and many employees have described what has almost always happened when they have approached their higher-ups with a good idea or a feasible solution to improve the company. In many of the cases, their leader agreed their concept could work, but then they were told to do things “the old way.” It’s in our human nature to stop trying and redirect our energy to where we believe it will do more good. Our research and reports are filled with cases of intelligent, creative people, even at the executive level, who at one point just decided to stop bringing new ideas because they felt it was a waste of time.
In many other cases, we have noticed that employees are afraid of retribution and don’t feel comfortable sharing their ideas because of the reaction their leaders might have. They would like a way to share ideas whose visibility can be controlled and add validators who can validate and give feedback on the idea in a non-offensive way.
3. Lacking the skills or confidence to share ideas
In many cases, employees don’t even know how to speak up in a way that will get them heard. They might have just started in the company or prefer to keep to themselves, and they might not even know who to turn to pitch their ideas.
If you want your teams to identify and solve problems actively or find better, more innovative solutions, then you have got to train them. If you want people to come up with great ideas that will improve your business, you need to teach them the skills to know how to do that well from a balanced business perspective while also giving them milestones to help guide their decision-making.
A great way to train your employees to share their ideas while developing a better, more inclusive company culture is to introduce them to Agreed. It’s the go-to platform for leading change and successful growth through idea sharing from inside the company. In addition, it’ll help you, as a leader, instill a better and more innovative culture that will benefit the entire organization.
When we aren’t heard, it’s much easier to go back to safe silence, and because we’re human, we tend to remember the stressful times more than the times our idea was heard. There is a vast range of reasons that explain why employees lose their confidence, ranging from toxic leadership to insecurities they’re bringing with them from home or previous workplaces.
As a leader, you need to understand what’s crushing your people’s courage and work hard to eliminate the real and imagined barriers preventing your team members from contributing their best thinking. The Agreed software can help you with that. Your teams will be more willing to share their ideas positively, where they can collaborate to have their plans backed up by real data to reach faster results.
4. Where to Share Ideas
With an ever-expanding digital toolset, it’s no wonder that most of our clients’ employees said they didn’t know where to share their ideas. These employees needed a place where they could share their ideas, invite teammates to pitch in with their own comments, and have all the information on how to draft and pitch their idea correctly.
This place was Agreed’s platform, where employees are urged to share their ideas, validators insert valuable information to the success of the idea, and executives can pitch in and give their own advice to the ideas they see as profitable.
Agreed enabled them to bring innovation into their business and give their employees a platform to share their own ideas about improving the business and be recognized for their efforts whilst profiting and expanding the company. You can check out the platform by signing up for free!
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