Incorporating Idea Management Into the Workplace

Check out these 9 steps for effectively implementing idea management processes in the workplace.

January 3, 2023
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It isn’t unusual to see managers asking their team about their thoughts on matters. In fact, it is an indicator of a progressive workplace. However, properly collecting such thoughts and ideas, analyzing them to make sure that they are useful to the company, implementing and iterating them, and adequately commending and rewarding the ideators is an entirely different ball game.

This idea management process speaks to your company’s culture, system and process. And it is a key factor in ensuring increased enterprise value, as well as employee engagement and retention. 

This article explores the importance of idea management. It also shares a breakdown of steps for incorporating idea management in the workplace.

What is Idea Management?

Idea management is a formalized process whereby companies generate, develop, organize and launch ideas that help them drive innovation and reach the highest potential. This process is typically done via an idea management software. However, it must be prioritized and optimized to suit the company’s culture. This helps the process to reach all relevant touchpoints in the organization.

Effective idea management entails collecting, organizing, and evaluating employee insights and feedback. It helps companies identify enhancements and initiatives that they can include in their product roadmaps. It typically requires:

  • a platform for brainstorming and developing internal and external ideas. 
  • understanding how the ideas relate to specific challenges and identifying clear paths to achieving tangible goals. 
  • a structure that collects ideas and references them against existing problems, then nurtures and develops them while ensuring that actual actions are taken.

But, what makes idea management tick, and why is it important for everyone?

Why is Idea Management Important?

Idea management goes beyond brainstorming. It is a revolutionary way to create tangible action and use ideation, innovation, and problem-solving to ensure success. It is important for businesses because it employs ad hoc problem-solving to solve inefficiency. It is also important because it:

  • Increases the Velocity of Ideation - In most cases, innovation is not as organized as it should be, and this breeds inefficiency. Idea management processes let you standardize the innovation process. It helps identify problems and outline clear paths to success. This structure ensures that ideas are more likely to succeed and can be implemented faster and more efficiently. In other words, it increases your team’s velocity.
  • Saves Time and Increases Efficiency - It makes it easier to organize and track ideas. This saves time for everyone and makes project management more efficient.
  • Encourages Collaboration - The idea management process requires teams to work together. They analyze prospective ideas from different perspectives and collaborate to identify those that are more viable and risk-averse. This goes on through the review and iteration phase and fosters teamwork. 

Effective idea management is beneficial to every aspect of the business. These benefits include:

  • Boosting employee morale, engagement, satisfaction, and retention
  • Developing new revenue streams for the company
  • Outperforming competition and counterparts
  • Improving existing processes and increasing efficiency
  • Increasing revenue
  • Identifying and implementing cost-saving processes

Now, how is idea management related to innovation management?

Both processes are related; however, they differ in certain ways. Innovation management involves ways in which companies identify and develop new concepts and insights that will benefit them. Idea management, on the other hand, includes concepts beyond innovation. It could include testing existing ideas to see whether they are still fit for purpose. Both processes are similar, but their methods sometimes differ. 

For example, when developing a product roadmap, innovation management software can help you sift through ideas from innovators and channel those insights to improve the working draft. Next, idea management software can be used to gather all existing thoughts that are relevant to the roadmap, examine them, and test them to see which ones are outdated and which ones should be retained for further consideration.

How Can Idea Management Be Implemented In The Workplace?

Idea management can be used in the workplace to enhance every aspect of the business, be it team management, organizational structure, or even creating new products and services. 

Effectively implementing idea management requires carefully following these 9 steps:

  1. Outline goals and objectives
  2. Discuss the ideation strategies
  3. Motivate your team to ideate
  4. Encourage team collaboration
  5. Analyze and examine ideas
  6. Implement
  7. Commend and reward ideators
  8. Review and iterate
  9. Conclude the process.

Let’s get into the details.

  1. Outline goals and objectives

Before you begin implementing the idea management process, you need to take the time to identify what you would like to achieve at the end of the journey. This can be done through open dialogue with employees and key stakeholders at every business level. This list of goals and objectives will also come in handy when launching a new process, product, or service, as it will help everyone involved to get aligned.

  1. Discuss the ideation strategies

Although ideas can come from anywhere, having an ideation strategy helps streamline the process. We suggest creating a sustainable ideation strategy by applying the top-down and bottom-up methods. For it to work, the company’s senior management has to be involved and prepared to listen and lead. 

  1. Motivate your team to ideate

A healthy innovation culture is one where every person in the company is motivated and encouraged to contribute ideas. You can foster such an environment by scheduling regular brainstorming sessions, building a centralized and accessible idea bank via an idea management platform, making business goals transparent, and commending brilliant suggestions and ideas.

  1. Encourage team collaboration

With the right idea management template, you can create a platform where your team can dissect, deliberate, and collaborate on ideas. This ensures that thoughts and ideas are equally considered and given the required attention. It also helps the team identify important insights and address issues accordingly.

  1. Analyze and examine ideas

At this point, the goals and objectives for the ideation process come into play. Set up a metric for assessing the ideas that have the best potential and are worth implementing. Next, pick each idea and critically examine them as a team. Identify those that are more risk-averse and make specific action plans for implementing and putting resources behind them. 

  1. Implement

Put those plans into action. Create processes that can aid the development, testing, launching, and iteration of the idea. You’ll also need to employ smart technology, thought leadership, and expert consultation for the best results.

  1. Commend and reward ideators

As mentioned above, a healthy innovation culture is one that encourages ideation and commends employee contributions or anyone who helped refine and/or implement the idea. This process should be made public and should include a significant reward. This way, other members of the team can appreciate the importance of innovation and positive participation.

  1. Review and iterate

Idea management is an act of innovation. This means that the process must involve taking time to reflect on the system, culture and methods employed. Figure out what worked well and take note of what didn’t. This way, you’re sure of what to improve on and what to avoid during the next ideation cycle. 

  1. Conclude the process

After reviewing the process, it’s time to create a report and make it accessible to relevant stakeholders. Take note of failures and wins and share them with the team. Don’t shy away from sharing failures and losses, as they are important aspects of innovation and growth. In the long run, failures contribute greatly to eventual success. 

Don’t Let Ideas Slip Through The Cracks

Idea management may seem straightforward, but it is a crucial process that should not be overlooked. By effectively generating, evaluating, and implementing ideas, a company can improve its growth and revenue. 

An effective idea management platform is great for encouraging transparency and critical thinking. It also fosters team collaborations and cross-functional brainstorming. 

Effectively source and manage ideas with Assembly. The customizable idea management tool is excellent for maximizing internal knowledge and employee creativity while helping top management improve existing processes. 

Want to learn more about Assembly? Schedule a call today. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

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At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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