I was surprised to find out over the weekend as I was reading Masoud Rabie's fabulous article, Is Digital Collaboration the Missing Link to Your Bottom Line?, that Gmail came from the mind of a "rank and file developer." I wasn't surprised at the fact that a "normal" employee had a brilliant idea because let's face it - the employees who are on the front line all day, every day know exactly what is important to customers and customer success. Not to mention we are all brilliant in some way or another. While leadership is important in any company, so are the people who can best inform you about the current needs of the people who drive the market - your very own employees. What actually surprised me about Gmail being adopted by an employee was not only because Google heard about the idea of one of thousand of employees, but that they listened.
The tough part about listening to your employees is being able to capture those ideas and encouraging them to share their thoughts, which is why I found Masoud's article so helpful. He talks about how to companies can better utilize their own employees for the benefit of... everyone. The company, the customers and the employee whose idea was implemented and the employees who now see a benefit to sharing their own ideas.
Thanks for the great insights, Masoud Rabie!
So how about it, JiveWorks? In what ways does your company work toward "investing in success" through their employees? Do you have any tips for fellow community managers to implement into their own internal community?