Involving staff for user-generated campaigns and putting them at the heart of your business communication are initiatives every organization would love to implement. Crowdsourcing can reduce your time to market, solve key business problems, improve brand image, gather valuable ideas from within to improve your products and services, generate revenue or drive engagement.
It isn’t however as simple as it sounds. Your staff is time-poor. They are often overwhelmed by numerous requests from a variety of teams to complete tasks or attend training. Why will they spare time to participate in generating content or sharing ideas? What will motivate them to engage?
· Make it real: Running a crowdsourcing campaign for the sake of one is self-defeating. Employees want to know if their user-generated content or recommendations will lead to a positive outcome – for themselves and for the organization or for the community. They want to know that the intent is authentic. If earlier campaigns have resulted in staff feeling letdown, you first need to address ‘trust’ issues before you launch any new initiatives. If it is not worth the effort, why do they need to contribute?
· Make it easy: Provide the right information and in a manner that works best for your staff. From the steps to participate, to the selection criteria and the timelines for accepting and sharing content. When you keep the campaign simple and accessible, it improves staff engagement and participation. If for example, remotely located staff can’t submit content for a campaign, what experience will that leave them with?
· Make it inclusive: Irrespective of the age groups your organization caters to, it helps to provide opportunities for everyone to contribute. Be it ideas to improve performance or product reviews that reveal glitches that customers might find, any touch-point must be inclusive for participants. If you are not included in the campaign, why will you feel proud of speaking to your co-workers and others outside the firm?
· Make it exciting: There are many distractions at work and if the campaign integrated into your work stream – on e-mail or on the enterprise social networks, there is a slim chance employees will buy-in. It does not mean you have to be frivolous. An exciting campaign goes beyond just capturing content – it allows employees to feel part of a larger purpose and motive where they have a part to play. If the campaign doesn’t tug at your heart, what chance do you have to make it memorable?
· Make it creative: You shouldn’t underestimate the creativity of employees. They can turn an idea into a powerful movement as long as it captures their imagination. All they need is a reason to be part of something larger and stronger. Creativity is within each one of us. Let employees come up with how they want to express themselves. As the communications practitioner, your role is to curate and encourage even more engagement on the back of the creative output you receive. What will motivate people to do that little extra beyond their roles if it isn’t inspiring?
Have experience in running crowdsourcing campaigns involving your employees? What have you experienced? Share them here.
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