One Surefire Way to Drive Engagement in an Employee Community: Take an Idea and Make it Happen

Ok, senior leaders. This one’s for you.

We get a lot of questions about how to drive engagement in a company’s enterprise social network. Companies put a lot of work into building fancy launch campaigns, creating fun reward programs for Champions, and printing posters about the benefits of the online employee community. These activities are valuable, and they create excitement, and they signal that the collaboration party is getting started.

However, there's a better way to foster the long-term adoption of and engagement in your community, and it doesn't involve a team of designers or event planners. Ready for it?

Pick any good idea shared by an employee and make it come to life, fast.

This tactic is particularly easy for a very senior executive to create instant value for not only the community, but for the company as a whole. Ask for ideas, or browse the community to find suggestions shared by employees on-the-ground who talk to customers and build your products every day. The best ideas usually come from those who know customer needs, and I promise that if you ask for suggestions inside your community, you as a senior executive will receive them en masse.

Once you've found an idea that resonates with your goals, and that can be enacted quickly, work fast to make it happen. Take your employee's idea, assign it to a team that can take swift action, and ask for results in the immediate term. For inspiration, look no further than Tesla's Elon Musk, who converted a frustrated customer's rant on Twitter into a policy change in less than a week.

Senior leaders are in a unique position to drive the priorities for many teams. When a leader spots a good idea shared by an everyday employee in the company's social network and turns it into reality, that leader is validating all employees' use of the social network while building better products and experiences for customers. I would argue that this type of idea-validation to idea-action is one of the single best ways to keep your employees happily collaborating.

So, senior leaders, are you ready for the challenge? Let us hear about how your employees' ideas were found inside your company social network and brought to life.