Learn, Play and Grow: An Inside Look At Innovation Friday

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Daniel Ku

Over the past year, our employees have embraced Innovation Friday.

What is that? Well, it’s an opportunity for our team to use every Friday morning to learn, play, fail and grow.

Regardless of the department, from Engineering to Customer Success, every employee is encouraged to work on things outside of their regular projects. Famously, Google embraced this leadership philosophy by allowing employees to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will benefit the company.

For PostBeyond, we started embracing Innovation Friday as a way to empower everyone to hit their professional and personal goals.

So, what are we doing with Innovation Friday? Watch the video below of our Head of People and Operations, Shawna Stewart, as she explains the importance of innovation and how the PostBeyond team embraces it.

Why is Play so Important for Innovation?

Innovation is important because it provides companies with an edge and can help foster a better connection with customers. Innovation also allows employees to develop their self-confidence in knowing they can take risks, fail but also turn their ideas into reality.

At PostBeyond, we’ve seen our employees feel a sense of engagement. They are excited to work on side projects and have time dedicated to learning. As a result, they’re eager to share what they are working on and demonstrate what they’ve built.

When a company embraces innovation, it fosters a culture that invests in its employees which ultimately helps the organization grow.

So, what are we doing?

Our teams have used Innovation Friday to build create products and services for our customers. In fact, one of our most recent feature upgrades, Slack Integration was the result of a customer pain point that someone wanted to solve.

Other projects include our Personal Dashboard which allows employees to see their own individual employee advocacy performance.

We’ve implemented changes to our sales process by collectively listening to everyone’s calls and providing feedback.

We’ve also iterated on how we compile data and help our customers benchmark their employee advocacy program amongst their peers.

Recommendations For Embracing Innovation

Invest in your employees in different ways.

When we decided to roll our Innovation Friday, we wanted to do it the right way. As Shawna says, “change management is the name of the game” when it comes to working with different people. Shawna took a bottom-up approach by first working with our Culture Committee to talk about the best ways to roll it out.

They worked on finding the best parameters for Innovation Friday and surprisingly found that the less parameters employees had, the better the experience was.

Everyone has their own professional development goals so provide them with a space to share what they are working on. One someone else can see what their peer is working on, maybe they’ll also gain an interest too or maybe they’re both tackling the same problem in different ways.

Innovation Friday is not about what employees do in their day-to-day. It’s about projects that employees self-select and gravitate towards. For leaders, this is an opportunity to lean into your employees’ interests.

Develop a safe environment to innovate and it can impact your organization in a positive way.

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