How to Generate Ideas from Employees — IdeaScale

3 min readNov 11, 2020

Jessica Day |

Idea generation is the first step in the innovation process. It should involve everyone in your organization, and focus on increasing creativity at work. Research shows 94% of hiring managers consider creativity among the top hiring traits.

Idea generation takes planning. You need a way to gather ideas, then organize and implement them.

All employees company-wide should be encouraged to share ideas. This leads to greater inspiration and productivity.

Why innovation is essential

Innovation is necessary to achieve organizational growth. Maintaining a competitive edge requires constant change.

A dedicated innovation team can help you bring new ideas to life and keep the process moving forward. If you’re curious about how to generate ideas from employees, use these tips for inspiration.

Lead from the top

Get senior management on board with innovation. When leaders understand how to generate ideas from employees and why this is important, it’s more likely to happen.

Establish teams who can provide channels for gathering ideas and communicating them to upper management. This makes people feel their voice is heard, and their opinions are important to the company.

Research shows you can get more ideas from employees by having a plan in place. One study revealed that 72% of organization leaders admitted they did not have a formal process for reviewing and evaluating ideas. This indicates that only 28% of those surveyed had a plan.

Define obstacles

Management may be well informed about the importance of idea generation, but you need an innovation culture to succeed. Find barriers that are keeping your company from sharing new ideas. Figure out ways to implement those ideas and discuss them with your employees.

Ask everyone in the organization what obstacles they encounter when making suggestions. Learn the challenges they face when tackling new initiatives. These answers are critical to solving the problems.

Motivate management and employees

Innovation can only happen when people feel motivated to share their ideas. Employees who are recognized for their outstanding work are more apt to take the initiative.

Make sure the company’s mission and business strategies are clear. Employees should understand how their roles fit into the organization as a whole.

Communicate the value of good ideas. Idea sharing will be successful only if everyone in the company knows the direction and goals they are working to achieve.

Emphasize your employees’ potential to shape the future of your organization. This leads to conversations that result in meaningful contributions.

Build innovation teams. The purpose of each should be clear, so members understand their roles.

Listen to employees and acknowledge their ideas. Positive feedback will make them more willing to contribute.

Ask employees to submit ideas

Let employees know you are interested in their ideas. Ask for input on existing initiatives or request ideas for new processes. Communicate this throughout the entire organization, so everyone is aware.

Provide the right tools for idea generation

The right tools provide a means to generate ideas from employees. Give them the means to collaborate and communicate with colleagues. Ensure they have a platform for sharing ideas.

The platform also allows for idea organization and implementation. This creates a space for open dialog and stimulates company growth.

Looking for an idea sharing platform to boost company morale and stimulate growth? Contact us to request a demo.

Originally published at on November 11, 2020.




IdeaScale is the leading innovation management software platform for the enterprise, government, and education. Gather ideas, implement them.