Generating great ideas from employees is no easy task, but there are certain steps and strategies that can be put in place to make this process more effective. Instead of simply sitting back and waiting for workers to step forward, managers must come up with a specific plan of action to help facilitate this process.
Setting aside specific times to hear new ideas from employees is one strategy. However, instead of just calling a meeting with no preparation, managers can provide a general outline to target solutions for certain problems. For example, at Trend Hunter we have weekly meetings to discuss how to achieve specific targets and goals. The questions asked at every meeting are consistant and are aligned to the company's and team's main objectives. With a structure and set meeting duration, generating great ideas from employees becomes much more productive.
Space and work environment cannot be emphasized enough. One slightly newer method for stimulating ideas and productivity in workers is exercise machines for the desk. Walking workstations in particular allow employees to elevate their heart rate slightly while still being able to complete assignments. By increasing the oxygen to the brain through even walking slowly on a treadmill, ideas are much more likely to come faster.
Trend Hunter's Health Trend Report gives more detail on this subject.
References: and trendreports