big ideasOne of our core values at work is “provide innovative solutions that exceed expectations.” That might seem like a standard/blah kind of idea, but it plays out in a way that I haven’t encountered anywhere else I’ve worked. We have a “big ideas” database that allows employees to share ideas on anything they think might be valuable to the organization. We’ve had everything possible posted, from lucrative new product lines to a request for larger garbage bags in the kitchen (seriously!).

Recently the Operations team set up our own database to capture ideas that we might like to implement for our workforce. A few things in our database right now:

  • Paid volunteer time-Employees at some large companies get paid for volunteer time. I pitched the idea that we could pay for as little as 4 hours for someone to go out, volunteer in some capacity, and do good in the world without breaking the bank on an expensive program.
  • Adding core values to informal peer recognition-while we already rate people within our formal performance management system based on how they uphold our core values on a daily basis, this would allow the day-to-day recognition on a peer level to also reflect on the handful of tenets that we operate the business by. It’s the little things that matter!
  • Financial literacy training-this is one I hold near and dear to my heart. As a Dave Ramsey fan (baby step #6, baby!) I am already a believer in understanding how personal finance works, but studies show that employees who are stressed are less productive, and there’s little in life more stressful than living paycheck-to-paycheck with no retirement savings, emergency fund, or college planning underway.

Enough about us! What are your “big” ideas? Again, it can be something as simple as “bigger trash bags” if that’s what is truly needed and there’s no other easy way to get the issue resolved, but you can also shoot for the moon. Think big!

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  • 7 thoughts on “What are your “big” ideas?

    1. Hi, Ben. Love your idea to add values-based P2P recognition. That is a cornerstone tenet of strategic recognition and something I am most passionate about. Doing so takes your values off the plaque on the wall and brings them to life in the daily work.

      We wrote a book on how to do this so that you can proactively manage your company culture through strategic recognition – “Winning with a Culture of Recognition.” Happy to send you a copy if you like, just let me know.

      Best,
      Derek

    2. Hi Ben, Great post as usual. Since you asked….My great
      idea was to create “Next Step Follies: An Imaginarium for
      Change Agents and Visionaries”. So many people with great
      ideas! http://www.dualcurrency.com is launching as corporate social responsibility initiative. Employees get rewarded for doing volunteer work with ‘community dollars’— they use these dollars to buy stuff at participating merchants. E-mail me if you want to get in touch with the founder. The concept is still in the early stages…but it addresses your your first point above. If it moves beyond corporate social responsibility into the public at large…the potential is huge. Keep up the great work!

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