Think of Challenges as your locker room. If the Ideas page is a place where the entire company can collaborate on the issues and ideas that affect the overall company strategy, Challenges are where you and your team can huddle and share feedback about the things that affect the work you do, day-to-day.
There are lots of reasons to run a Challenge. Among them:
You might need employee input on a specific problem, question or project you're working on,
There could be a change coming down the pipe that will require employee buy-in when implemented,
Or you might just be looking for a way to regularly connect with your team about the things they're working on.
We've seen managers have success with all kinds of Challenges. To keep it simple, we've grouped them into three types:
Habitual Challenges.These are regularly-scheduled discussions on the same topic. Running habitual Challenges keeps employees motivated and productive because you're able to address what's on their minds promptly.
E.g. Weekly Review Challenge: How can we make next week even more productive?Share your new ideas, issues, questions, or best practices, and we'll review top inputs at our weekly team meeting!
Continuous Challenges.These are 'always-open' discussions on a specific topic. They provide a place for employees to share input anytime something worth sharing comes up, but let you set very specific guardrails on what people talk about.
E.g. Handling Customer Complaints Best Practices: How do you handle customer complaints? Share your experience and tips as you go through your week so we can all learn from each other!"
Project-based Challenges.This type of Challenge lets you get input from your team during the planning, implementation, or evaluation stage of a project. That way you can secure commitment from key stakeholders and get valuable input to achieve project goals.
E.g. Restructuring Challenge: We're going through big changes as a team. What are your ideas or questions to make this organizational change as smooth as possible?
Depending on your permission level, most leaders can invite their own teams to their Challenges. While there is definitely benefit to bringing employees from across the organization into a focused conversation, we've found private/team Challenges to be very valuable to leaders. Here's why:
1. Everyone in the Challenge already knows what the priorities are
2. Participants often have the expertise to weigh in meaningfully on the topic
3. Participants are directly impacted by the outcome of the Challenge, so they're more motivated to participate
What's more, private Challenges give you as a leader a platform to share the impact your employees are having on the goal.