Tips for employee-driven innovation

Asset of any company is its people. Modern products and services can give businesses a temporary competitive advantage, but to ensure the continued success of a business, an innovative workforce is required. but it is something that involves people within the company, so that they identify and seize development opportunities.

There are several future-oriented companies that are already reaping the benefits of employee-driven innovation. British Airways, for example, has introduced an online “suggestion box” to collect suggestions from employees on how to further reduce emissions and fuel costs. Among the 200 ideas received, one in particular suggested descaling the bathroom pipes of the aircraft: thanks to the reduction in weight and the better conditions of the on-board toilets, the airline was able to save more than 850 thousand pounds. Another example is Amazon, which created the Amazon Prime annual membership program following a tip from staff. Since customers, once they became Prime members, typically spent 150% more, the profits increased significantly.

That highlight how companies, by listening to the needs of employees, can increase the competitiveness, efficiency and quality of products and services. Based on my experience as Business Director of Epson’s Visual Instruments Division, I believe that any business can drive staff-driven innovation with the help of four helpful tips.