Facilitate Smarter Creative Problem-Solving in the Workplace with Propeller

With Millennials already comprising 56% of all workers in the United States and Gen Zers starting to secure their first entry-level jobs, the American workforce is becoming noticeably younger — and employers are having to adjust accordingly.

Just a decade ago, entire industries could conduct business effectively using legacy tech systems, email communications, and slow, structured development processes. Today, in the midst of the ongoing digital revolution, corporate stakeholders have been forced to adapt their modi operandi to include more efficient, effective processes that can position their businesses for success in increasingly competitive markets.

The demand for greater adaptability, accelerated speed-to-market, and continual innovation has led to the proliferation of digital project management tools and real-time workplace messaging and video conferencing software. Tools like Google Hangouts, Slack, Glip, and Monday enable teams to gain more visibility into workflows, connect instantly, and collaborate meaningfully. While these platforms have undoubtedly helped businesses improve their operational efficiency, none is designed to help businesses create solutions proactively.

Our new results-driving tool for group-oriented work, Propeller can be integrated into teams of any size and empowers employees at every level to participate in collaborative, creative problem-solving. Read on to learn how.

The Crowdsourcing Advantage

A number of digital communication platforms enable users to create group threads, or “channels,” in which team members can discuss ongoing projects and strategize in real time. Unfortunately, without a structured approach to determining the best course of action, these tools don’t always facilitate effective collaborative problem-solving around results that matter most to a team or organization. 

Conversely, Propeller’s Solve It module provides a streamlined protocol for collaborative problem-solving, helping employees break down silos by encouraging honest and open ideation that transcends team or departmental boundaries.

Within the Solve It module, users can anonymously post a problem for which they need an immediate solution or raise an ongoing issue with which they’ve been grappling for some time. Once a problem has been posted, other users are encouraged to anonymously submit potential solutions, and through a gamified interface of “upvoting” and “downvoting,” the most relevant, actionable solutions clearly and quickly rise to the surface. This problem-solving process is designed to work as well for troubleshooting a straightforward IT question as for brainstorming a new logo during a rebrand.

Once the original poster selects a solution, the problem can be “closed,” and is archived in the poster’s interface. Posters can always reopen a problem after it has been closed if they feel the solution they selected proved to be ineffective.

Further, users can curate a personalized stream of top-priority issues by “following” problems of their choice. When they do so, they receive push notifications for any activity that occurs on these posts.

The module also features a leaderboard for spotlighting an organization’s top problem-solvers (based on the points they earn for suggesting “winning” solutions to problems posted by their colleagues). Recognizing top problem-solvers is a simple but meaningful way to reward individual employees for their creativity, collaboration, and commitment to driving results through the development of innovative solutions. It also incentivizes greater engagement from all team members — everybody wants to be a winner.

Ultimately, by providing complete anonymity and merit-based voting, the Solve It module eliminates biases tied to an employee’s role, seniority, or any number of other factors that may influence the perceived priority of a given problem or the level of consideration a suggested solution receives. What’s more, the anonymous crowdsourcing enabled by the module encourages cross-functional problem-solving, helping every employee feel comfortable engaging with problems that are both inside and outside their wheelhouse.

Cementing a Competitive Edge With Creative Problem-Solving

While other project management and workplace communication tools provide effective means for interacting with colleagues in real time, they are unable to facilitate genuinely collaborative, creative problem-solving.

By promoting collaborative problem-solving and maximizing their organizational agility, we can help you position your businesses for sustained success in even the most competitive market niches. Contact us today.

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