At MurmurattoTM, we believe millions of businesses worldwide have untapped, unused potential. That’s why we want to help business leaders release the forgotten and sometimes ignored collective wisdom held by employees and team members. Developing a continuous improvement process is a strategic way to capitalize on employee knowledge and insights.
A Sicilian proverb says, “Only the spoon knows what is stirring in the pot.”
Despite our best intentions and efforts as leaders, it’s virtually impossible for us to know everything that goes “into the pot”. Moreover, staying up to speed on every detail of every activity that goes on in your workplace all the time is exhausting and simply unsustainable.
Empowering frontline workers and all types of employees helps you address problems while creating an organization that is continuously improving.
Frontline workers have daily visibility of the challenges, trends, and opportunities that help build a better business.
Employee insights and knowledge do not always translate to solutions or improvement opportunities. Leaders, and entire companies, need structured, scalable processes and systems that allow them to evaluate, approve and implement ideas and solutions.
Doing this can improve your company’s operations and agility. If done correctly, actively listening to employees can even change your company’s DNA.
Idea-centric organizations value employee knowledge.
In other words, idea-centric organizations continuously look to include all employees in their efforts to achieve targets and develop a better workplace. They value employee contributions.
Gathering ideas at all levels and from all areas of your organization is the secret weapon to success for organizations such as Scania, Zara, and Coca-Cola, for example. For these organizations, creating a workflow that translates ideas and feedback into business results is the strategic pillar to achieve top-tier business performance.
For them, ideas are the fuel driving their continuous evolution. It helps them outperform other players in their industry and market.
Think of ideas and feedback as the fuel that you’ll need to continue evolving and outperforming other players in your market.
Creating an idea-centric organization is a top-down decision to embrace bottom-up input as a driver for business success and improvement.
To properly take advantage of employee insights, leaders must establish the channels and scope of employee participation. Who will participate? What topics will be addressed? How/Which ideas will be implemented?
Case Study of Continuous Improvement
Global car manufacturer Toyota exemplifies continuous improvement and the value of empowering frontline employees to submit and implement ideas. Toyota implemented over 20 million ideas between 1951 to 1991.
This colossal accomplishment, narrated in Yuzo Yasuda’s book 40 years and 20 million ideas, has been key to the company’s decades-long global success as one of the top car manufacturers in the world.
Toyota has focused on, among other things, collecting ideas and feedback for kaizen. Kaizen is Japanese for “continuous improvement” or “change for the better.”
For successful idea management and kaizen, leaders must have a clear vision of the company’s mission and goals.
As with any other strategy, collection efforts should focus on transforming ideas into benefit-yielding business projects. Topics can range from season to season. Idea collection topics can include “Improving the Workplace,” “Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS),” and “New product/service ideas.”
Murmuratto empowers employees and benefits organizations
Within weeks of deploying MurmurattoTM on our first client’s sites, we received scores of ideas. When added up, the software forecasted a six to seven-figure economic impact.
As part of our idea management strategy, we collected ideas on specific categories or topics.
Those categories reflected our client’s vision and goals. This focused effort increased the probability of idea implementation. In addition, it helped to develop company-wide alignment and support for the goals and KPIs that leaders were working to achieve.
When employees knew the pressing business needs and goals, they addressed potential roadblocks and identified ways to solve them.
Beyond business impact, we noticed that providing a space for collecting collective wisdom had additional benefits. In addition to continuous improvement benefits, listening to employees increased inclusion and engagement levels.
MurmurattoTM includes features and functionalities that help drive Bain & Company’s definition of inclusive organizations.
“An inclusive organization is diverse and in which people are heard, valued, and supported.”
Allowing space to collect and act on collective employee insights can yield surprising results- we know this from experience.
In conclusion, employees from all generations look for enjoyable or at least good workplaces. They want to work in organizations where they can contribute and are acknowledged for their contributions. Companies will certainly see an increase in employee engagement and business performance metrics when they channel employee insights into a continuous improvement process.
Employee knowledge is your secret weapon to success!
Let us know how your company collects employee ideas and insights!