The more control employees feel like they have over their future, the happier they will be. The same is true when it comes to employees and their benefits. So here’s one thing it may be time to consider: crowdsourcing.
What’s crowdsourcing? It’s generally used in marketing. It involves asking online fans and followers to register their likes and dislikes, and using that information to help form business ideas/strategies.
- The Gap used crowdsourcing to determine whether or not its new logo would appeal to the masses. Customers flooded its social networking websites and expressed their dislike of the logo. Result? The logo was scrapped and customers loved that their voices were heard.
- Conan O’ Brien is using crowdsourcing to pick the first guest for his new show on TBS. Fans are voting on Twitter for their favorite celebrity. Result? Jack Nicholson’s winning by a landslide, and the show’s attracting buzz from potential viewers and advertisers.
Give it the Benefits twist
The concept can be applied to designing benefits plans, too. Adding choice and personalization this way to employee plans will build trust and loyalty, suggests benefits consultant Carol Harnett.
Four keys to getting the most out of this concept:
- Make participation easy. Conducting a worker survey is an excellent and non-threatening way to start collecting employees’ thoughts on what benefits are most important to them.
- Give employees a deadline. Responses will increase when they think they only have a limited amount of time to be heard.
- Provide positive feedback. Employees need to know their thoughts are appreciated, so give them positive feedback when they share ideas — and get others to follow suit.
- Don’t get in the way of the flow of ideas. If you’re leading a discussion among employees, try to keep everyone’s reactions to ideas to a minimum. This will allow everyone to say what’s on their mind without having peers’ reactions influence the train of thought.