Managing teams of people at work requires acute organization and communication, no matter the size. But if the only way a team of sprawling employees feel in sync with one another is through the company wide emails being sent to each inbox, there might be some red flags worth noting and a sign that it’s time to start rejigging the work management process.
We believe that work management and idea management should be separate, with the latter to include every voice on the team. Here are Pondr’s three pieces of advice for building bridges across your team:
- Never miss an idea - understanding the harmful effects of a cost per user system
- Open up the feedback equation
- Reshape the process
Never miss an idea - understanding the harmful effects of a cost per user system
Idea generation only works if everyone is involved, so why are so many employees within a company still left out of the process? One of Pondr’s stand out features - an affordable price plan based on teams rather than individuals - is addressing this issue.
Current SaaS pricing models for work management systems are not proving to be economical, and therefore are not inclusive. Because there is a per user cost, it becomes expensive to add each individual employee, which is prohibitive on a number of levels. This per user system breeds a lopsided environment as cost saving decisions have to be made about who to invite and who to exclude. When you limit the amount of people that can take part in the idea generation process, you defeat the very purpose of what it sets out to do: find the best ideas.
While it makes sense for managers to designate tasks based on their employees skill set, it is illogical to predict which employee will have a creative idea, and decide who gets to contribute. The current systems are based on old norms which used to see creativity as a specific character trait, rather than a trait we all possess. Each employee, with hobbies, interests and unique perspectives, has a whole complex life outside of the work walls and could bring rare wisdom and insight to the drawing board. This type of system not only limits potential through lack of numbers, but depreciates a shared sense of belonging within a team. When employees feel seen and heard, they are also more likely to contribute and volunteer.
Open up the feedback equation
Customers - the reason any business exists in the first place! Most work management systems don’t have an avenue to invite customers into the internal space designated for employees, which is why it’s so important to use a software like Pondr that sits in front and allows both the private and the public to collaborate through a communities page.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that a company is a community, made up of both its internal employees and the people supporting the product. It is one ecosystem, which is why it is so important for customers to be part of the feedback equation. Whether it’s a complaint, a compliment, a comment or suggestion, feedback is a form of idea generation and should not be excluded from the formula.
Reshape the process
We strongly believe that separating idea management from work management is the way forward. Ideation is concerned with thoughts and options which are not yet guaranteed, and is a very different process to working through an approved task. Combining the two is only creating barriers in both areas: it limits idea generation because people begin to ignore it, and it also clutters the already complex space of work management.
Silos, a term the business market adopted from the agricultural sector to describe the isolated units that store bulk materials, create closed-off systems whereby teams of employees are divided by discipline and funnelled into departments. Companies use silos in the form of work management systems - which serve a purpose when it’s time to carry out a task, but prove a major roadblock when tracking new ideas.
The ideation process should be free from categorization. From sales to engineering and marketing to the front line, opening up the floodgates to encourage cross-conversation will not only bridge all these groups but also increase the diversity of ideas brought to the table and make sure everyone is involved.
Remember, involving everyone doesn’t translate to a chaotic system of consensus - that’s what the Pondr voting and ranking system is for!