Encourage your Employees to Be “Hackers”February 24th, 2012
A trend in technology and engineering companies is to encourage their employees to be “Hackers”. That doesn’t mean their employees are stealing anyone’s identity or finding their way onto top secret government sites. Rather, companies will set aside “Hack Days” when employees are encouraged to work on things that don’t fall into their daily job duties to help the company improve. Even non-technology companies are beginning to implement Hack Days in order to leverage their employee’s talents to drive workplace innovation.
Here are three ways to implement Hack Day events in your own office
- Encourage employees to explore their passions. The idea of a Hack Day gives employees a way to engage in things that they enjoy doing which may also benefit the company. Have a plan and allow employees to volunteer for portions of that plan based on what it is they truly love to do and think they can excel at. You may be surprised what your accounting staff prefers to dedicate their time to or that your IT department has been considering ways to make things more efficient and is delighted at the opportunity to share them.
- Encourage Participation. Make sure everyone taking part in Hack Day understands that there is no final evaluation on the ideas they might come up with. Empower your employees to explore every idea even knowing that not all the concepts are going to be good right out the gate. Some employees might be hesitant to make suggestions because they are afraid of criticism, but a manager must ensure this will not be the case. All good innovation has a failure rate, don’t be afraid of it.
- Boost Employee Morale. When the team is actively engaged with improving the company, everyone benefits. When that improvement is implemented each employee feels their individual participation made a difference. Make Hack Day an event. Celebrate the accomplishment with something fun at the end of the day. Be sure to incorporate the final development into everyday business to whatever degree makes sense. It is very important for everyone involved to see an end result.
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