What Is Enterprise Crowdsourcing Technology and How Are HR Leaders Using It?


What is enterprise crowdsourcing technology? And how can it help HR leaders? In this article, we discuss:

  • Definition and key statistics for enterprise crowdsourcing
  • 3 companies using this tactic to solve HR business problems
  • Exclusive insights from Thoughtexchange’s COO, Jessica Nordlander

It is during these troubling times that organizations can leverage crowdsourced ideas to innovate or simply recalibrate to align with the changing workplace.

When employees from across the organization come together, share their opinions, and contribute to a strategy, business leaders can get a holistic picture of an idea’s feasibility. As employees practice social distancing and work from home en masse, companies may be struggling to consolidate these various voices dispersed in different locations. One of the ways to address this is by using enterprise crowdsourcing technology.

Enterprise crowdsourcing technology is a popular tool in software development and product innovation. And recently, it has started gaining popularity in areas such as HR and operations management as well. We spoke to Jessica NordlanderOpens a new window , COO of ThoughtexchangeOpens a new window , an enterprise crowdsourcing technology provider, on how enterprise crowdsourcing technology works.

What Is Enterprise Crowdsourcing Technology?

Enterprise crowdsourcing technology is defined as a software platform that allows business leaders to obtain feedback on a specific idea or strategic direction from multiple stakeholders spread across the company. Unlike most HR surveys, there is no constraint on what the questions could ask.

Which skill do you think we should hire for in the next quarter?

What, according to you, are some pros and cons of the company’s new business model?

How can we make our client portal more user-friendly?

Open questions like these are typically the cornerstone of enterprise crowdsourcing. The technology platform takes the various answers employees submit, analyzes the response to find common patterns, and visualizes the data.

“Enterprise crowdsourcing empowers leaders to ask their teams, customers, and/or communities open-ended questions to surface honest answers in real-time. The disarmingly simple idea helps leaders solve enormously complex and valuable problems through tapping directly into the collective intelligence within their diverse organizational population,” said Nordlander.

To do this, enterprise crowdsourcing technology leverages advanced analytical models – some tools even use machine learning and artificial intelligence to extract more accurate insights from large volumes of crowdsourced information.

“AI and proprietary machine learning ensure all responses get considered by others, confidentially, and without bias and powerful analysis tools instantly surface valuable insights and key areas of agreement, disagreement, and common ground,” added Nordlander.

Why do HR Leaders Need Enterprise Crowdsourcing Technology?

A 2019 surveyOpens a new window of 50 companies in North America, Europe, and the APAC region (by Planview) found that HR leaders could gain significantly from enterprise crowdsourcing.

  • 65% said that a crowdsourcing program has helped to increase employee engagement.
  • 71% agreed that this technology helped them bring a culture of innovation into their workforce.
  • Employee satisfaction (30%), employees’ creative capabilities (16%), and retention rates (14%) were among the key outcomes of enterprise crowdsourcing valued by organizations.
  • HR was the sponsoring department for more than a quarter of enterprise crowdsourcing programs.

Nordlander pointed out another advantage of using enterprise crowdsourcing technology: “It helps companies listen to the voice of the employee, including the silent majority whose opinions aren’t commonly heard. You can find out what’s most important to those in groups of anywhere from ten to tens of thousands of people.”

Learn More: How Crowdsourced Labor Pools Are Revolutionizing WorkOpens a new window

How Companies Have Applied Enterprise Crowdsourcing Technologies at Their Organizations

With platforms like Thoughtexchange (and others), the possibilities are virtually limitless.

“Revenue leaders are learning what hundreds of salespeople need to achieve their targets. Development leaders are learning what’s most important to those experiencing organizational change. Human resource leaders are learning what their people need most in order to be effective and feel engaged and appreciated,” mentioned Nordlander.

She told us about how several HR functions have applied enterprise crowdsourcing technology to improve employee engagement and other facets of people outcomes.

Dime Community BankOpens a new window , a New York City-based financial services institution with 29 branches, used it to build a foundation of trust with its workforce. Dime had been around for over 150 years and wanted to refresh its mission, vision, and values for a new generation of employees. Since May 2019, Dime launched a crowdsourcing initiative, seeking feedback on core HR operations like performance management and benefits.

The anonymous forum allowed employees to share ideas confidentially, unlocking unexpected insights for Dome’s business leaders. The company also saw an immediate uptick in intranet activity, signaling greater engagement.

Canada’s entertainment leader, Cineplex, leveraged enterprise crowdsourcing technology to gauge the impact of its live training sessions.

“Instead of ‘Did you enjoy the course?’ we asked, ‘What are some things we need to do in our culture to make this program stick?’ Everybody’s writing in to see how many stars their “Thought” got. We’re getting that stickiness,” said Dessalen WoodOpens a new window , formerly VP of talent development at Cineplex, and currently chief people officer at Thoughtexchange.

A leading electric power holding company in the U.S. also turned to Opens a new window enterprise crowdsourcing technologyOpens a new window to provide its employees with a safe workplace.

It initiated a crowdsourcing program for gas operations safety, and the technology provided by Planview’s Spigit platform Opens a new window helped increase employee participation rate from 10–20% to 80–90%. Using the crowdsourced ideas, the company was able to transform crew truck safety, research the benefits of standing desks, and introduce new training facilities.

Learn More: Is Crowdsourcing Ever a Good Idea?Opens a new window

Enterprise Crowdsourcing Technology Is Here to Stay

Enterprise crowdsourcing technology brings in a scale of cognitive diversity that would be otherwise impossible. Business leaders can tap into their organization’s collective intelligence, obtaining ideas in real-time.

Instead of closed brainstorming sessions and high-level meetings, you have a truly democratized forum for exchange and innovation. But the ideas from the crowdsourcing exercise must be actioned. Else it will be a futile effort and may leave employees feeling unheard.

This is particularly critical as we face an unprecedented period of challenge and change due to COVID-19. Crowdsourced ideas, digital feedback channels that run despite large-scale remote work, and a culture of open innovation will be critical to success – and it all starts with embracing technologies like enterprise crowdsourcing.

Have you used enterprise crowdsourcing technology at your organization? If so, tell us about your experience on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window !