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Swae helped EMC Insurance unleash workforce creativity & crowdsourcing ideas to drive culture and strategic innovation

Swae helped EMC Insurance unleash workforce creativity & crowdsourcing ideas to drive culture and strategic innovation

CASE STUDY

EMC

Insurance 

SWAE PILOT HELPS EMC INSURANCE REVEAL HIDDEN COMPANY IMPROVEMENT IDEAS

USE CASE

Employee-Driven Ideation
and Innovation Discovery

LOCATION
USA (40 States)
INDUSTRY

Insurance

SEGMENT

Ideation, Entrepreneurship,
Innovation Management

WEBSITE
emcins.com
CUSTOMER SINCE

2020

ORGANIZATION SIZE

2,400

TOTAL ACTIVE USERS

104 (Pilot)

Post-pilot data and results reveal how EMC Insurance leveraged Swae in a 60-day pilot program to help their people express novel ideas, feel more included, and create deeper engagement across departments.

Swae is a platform where every team member can feel included!

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

The

Problem

In Q1 of 2021, US-based EMC Insurance Companies launched a pilot program to test Swae’s platform with a subset of the company’s 2,500 employees. The goals were to (1) determine the usability and feasibility of Swae within EMC and (2) identify if Swae was the right platform for sharing ideas, spearheading implementation of those ideas and engaging employees and leaders throughout the process.

The pilot also served as a learning opportunity for our Swae team to stress-test certain assumptions in a short 60-day timeframe of this pilot.

Swae’s mission is to unleash the unheard voices within organizations to ensure that leaders can identify problems, reveal investable solutions, and better prioritize with feedback in order to reduce potential biases in important strategic decisions—all at a faster rate.

During this pilot, the Swae team tested the following aspects of the Swae feature set:

• Would access to our platform and feature set impact EMC’s employee engagement, motivation, morale, and happiness rates?

• Would access to our platform increase the number of voices heard, and would it provide employees with feelings of inclusivity, allowing them to have more of a voice inside the organization (over and above the existing platforms)?

• Would more voices expressing insights help decision-makers reveal business value through crowdsourcing efforts?

It was a good opportunity to have my voice heard!

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

Activity

The pilot lasted 60 days and included over 100 employees.

Pilot participants were invited to respond to 4 distinct organizational challenges.

I want people to feel empowered and equal when presenting ideas and for all ideas to be treated with the same weight, not dismissed before review because of a preconceived bias about a person.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

RESULTS

44

proposals were crowdsourced and generated across the 4 Missions

22 

of these proposals achieved the success metrics and engagement to graduate for a management review

95% 

of the pilot participants used Swae at least once during the pilot

78%   

of the pilot participants used Swae at least once per month, if not more.

8   

On average, each pilot participant voted on at least 8 unique proposals throughout the duration of the pilot

3   

On average, each pilot participant made at least 3 unique comments, suggestions or risks on proposals

13%  

of the pilot participants used Swae on at least once per day

Pilot Totals

13%

Daily Active Users (DAU)

78%

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

95%

Total Users Engaged

13%

Decision Ready Ideas Generated

3.2x

Comments per User

8.2x

Votes per User

SWAE’S

IMPACT

Prior to the start, during, and immediately following the conclusion of the pilot, Swae’s user experience research team surveyed the EMC employees that participated to collect feedback on several parameters. The feedback covered the overall platform experience, frictions and feature improvement suggestion, to more conceptual topics such as the value of having a voice in the decision-making process, and the impact a platform like Swae can have on engagement, motivation and morale.

While the results are not scientifically defensible, the pilot program indicated that using Swae was a positive experience for users, with direct impact on:

• Employee’s ability to share their voice and ideas with their community beyond existing collaboration tools and processes available to them

EMC employees’ level of engagement, motivation and happiness.

Fifty-eight out of 100 pilot users responded to the first pre-pilot baselining survey, fifty-three out of 100 pilot users responded to the second mid-pilot user experience survey, and twenty-four out of 100 pilot users responded to a post-pilot survey.

Notable findings from the mid and post pilot surveys include:

92% – Ideas uncovered due to Swae

92% of pilot users surveyed said that Swae helped them more easily surface and discuss ideas that would not have otherwise surfaced using other collaboration channels that are currently available within the organization.

95% Swae helped to convey ideas better

95% of pilot users surveyed said Swae helped them convey ideas or changes they wanted to see at EMC better than other collaboration channels and tools currently available at EMC.

96% Swae increased engagement, motivation or hapiness

96% of pilot users surveyed said that having a chance to share ideas and collaborate on important decisions through Swae’s platform increased their engagement, motivation or happiness as an EMC team member

88% – Easy to share ideas and voice

of pilot users surveyed said that Swae’s platform made it easy for them to share their voice as an employee at EMC and made sharing ideas more accessible to the whole community.

7.4/10 Overall Platform Experience

Pilot users rated the Swae platform a 7.4 out 10 for overall platform experience (across both mid and post-pilot survey respondents)

Anonymity benefits

The majority of pilot users surveyed expressed appreciation for the anonymity Swae offers

CONCLUSION

The pilot was successful in demonstrating that the Swae platform enabled users to share ideas and engage with team members and leaders across the company.

Pilot users had opportunities to share improvement requests and suggestions to Swae’s existing UI, UX, and feature set. These requests have been carefully considered and some are being prepared for release in the near future.

How can help your Organization

Gaining insights and experience from past pilots has shown that when leaders implement Swae, they discover problems they didn’t even know existed within their own organization.

What this allows is creativity to be unleashed and allows more of their own people to come together in bigger ways to solve the organization’s challenges, come up with cool ideas to innovate, and so much more.

Swae’s platform helps drive workplace improvement and innovation strategy which can transform the way leaders include others to prioritize challenges and source potential solutions from people that haven‘t had the opportunity to share their voice.

Testimonials

How Swae contributed to an evolving-culture

It gave other people a platform to express their ideas. The platform [Swae] would help foster a culture of open sharing of ideas.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

The platform acted as a tool to empower me to provide ideas to team members I would not typically interact with during a normal workday. It also allowed me to see other viewpoints through positive dialog.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

How Swae contributed to improving inclusivity
SWAE was an excellent way for numerous EMC team members to reach out and speak up about different ways to improve EMC Insurance

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

I want people to feel empowered and equal when presenting ideas and for all ideas to be treated with the same weight, not dismissed before review because of a preconceived bias about a person.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

How Swae helped further enterprise-wide collaboration
It’s very encouraging to have a transparent opportunity to present proposals and to see healthy debate occurring on them.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

We have no other platform to share ideas [like Swae]. I see the potential with this platform to break down ideas into departments as well as corporate-level projects.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

How Swae helped unearth hidden innovation ideas
It gave me a formal place to express my ideas without having to search around for the right person to pitch my ideas to.

EMC Insurance Swae Pilot User

Swae helped LifeLabs to solve a costly industry-wide talent retention and attraction challenge in 30 days

Swae helped LifeLabs to solve a costly industry-wide talent retention and attraction challenge in 30 days

CASE STUDY

Lifelabs

How LifeLabs Used Swae to Solve a Costly Industry wide Talent Retention and Attraction Challenge in Less Than 30 Days
USE CASE

Employee-Driven Ideation for Healthcard Recruitment & Retention

LOCATION

Canada

INDUSTRY

Healthcare & Laboratory Services

WEBSITE

lifelabs.com

CUSTOMER SINCE

2020

The solution sourced through Swae could help retain up to 10 Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists per year, helping solve a particularly challenging industry-wide retention issue.

The

Problem

In November 2020, Swae announced our partnership and pilot with LifeLabs to help crowdsource COVID-19 business and operation solutions directly from employees.

While remaining in full operation during COVID-19, LifeLabs had to continuously adapt to the ever-changing landscape with the health and safety of their customers and employees at top of mind. The team reacted swiftly by streamlining operational procedures, modifying their business model and services, and updating policies to remain agile and consistent. With great and persistent change comes the challenge of keeping everyone aligned. To support employees, the LifeLabs leadership team wanted to ensure they were hearing internal feedback quickly, addressing complex challenges collaboratively, and keeping an ear open for insightful ideas for improving the organization, all at the same pace of the changes required.

Swae was engaged to help them achieve these goals with a pilot program, formally launched in January 2021. The program was intended to help the LifeLabs team focus on the ‘Future of Work’ and understand how they could adapt processes at their labs and collection centers in a post-pandemic world.

The Swae pilot was initially sponsored by the company’s Lab Operations division. When it began, 28 leaders were invited to join a session to brainstorm, suggest, and collaboratively prioritize the most pressing problems and areas of concern while identifying potential solutions.

Activity

The top priority that surfaced through their efforts with Swae was the issue of attracting and retaining highly skilled Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists. This industry-wide challenge came from increased competition for these roles stemming from the global pandemic and existing long-term trends of increased scarcity for these roles that had been impacting the industry.

The concern of attracting and retaining trained Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists is not unique to LifeLabs. This is a challenge affecting the entire healthcare industry.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the medical industry has an aging workforce that is retiring earlier than expected. Referencing a Statistics Canada study, they found that as baby boomers move towards retirement, the supply of medical staff has not kept pace with the retirement rate. The study found that the average retirement age for Canadians employed in health and social services between 1976 and 1980 was almost 65 years, but 10 to 15 years later the average dropped to approximately 62 years. This 3-year reduction and deficit significantly impacts the availability of Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists and other specialized medical staff to fill critical roles.

A recent study on the Fastest Growing Industries and Professions in Health Care by the Skilled Immigrant Infocentre also identified that Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists are among the highest in-demand professions across the country. In British Columbia alone, they estimate 1,520 new job openings by 2025. While there is significant demand for these professionals, the supply of Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists has not kept pace.

When Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists first join LifeLabs, they receive an investment in training and development within the first eight weeks of their employment. For LifeLabs to consistently compete and continuously improve as an organization, it was imperative that they continue to retain their in-demand and highly-trained employees.

Given the uncertainties in the market, this challenge proved very difficult to solve with simple solutions.

Opportunity

When in doubt, innovate!

This became LifeLabs’ motto as they addressed each organizational challenge head on.

By using Swae’s platform, the discovery and brainstorming process uncovered several brilliant ideas from participants to effectively address the various problems they faced. The group’s biggest area of focus was around talent retention and attraction. The idea that gained the most engagement and traction included offering a retention bonus and student loan subsidy or reimbursement to help newly-trained Technician students pay back a portion of their student loans if they remain employed at LifeLabs for a period of up to two years. This idea can be a major incentive at any point of a person’s career, but is a definite advantage during times of great uncertainty. In addition, they thought this idea could help LifeLabs improve the incentives for retaining talent while also attracting new applicants.

Over the 30-day pilot, this specific idea gained over 50% engagement from the entire cohort, had an average vote of 82% from 14 managers, and allowed colleagues to collectively raise potential risks and easily discuss all facets of this potential solution in a constructive manner.

This idea graduated into an official management review by the Vice President of Operations and Human Resources leaders. Together, leadership from across the organization conducted a feasibility study to stress-test the idea and they now have plans to turn it into official company-wide policy.

50%

Engagement from all pilot users

82%

Average vote received on this proposal

14

Managers who voted on the proposal

This idea graduated into an official management review by the Vice President of Operations and Human Resources leaders. Together, leadership from across the organization conducted a feasibility study to stress-test the idea and they now have plans to turn it into official company-wide policy.

“Swae is a tool I have been hoping to see developed for many years. It dispels many of the implicit and explicit biases often seen in brainstorming exercises.”

Jamie Lepard, Lifelabs

Business Continuity Programme Manager

RESULTS

44

proposals were crowdsourced and generated across the 4 Missions

22 

of these proposals achieved the success metrics and engagement to graduate for a management review

95% 

of the pilot participants used Swae at least once during the pilot

78%   

of the pilot participants used Swae at least once per month, if not more.

8   

On average, each pilot participant voted on at least 8 unique proposals throughout the duration of the pilot

3   

On average, each pilot participant made at least 3 unique comments, suggestions or risks on proposals

13%  

of the pilot participants used Swae on at least once per day

CONCLUSION

Once implemented, the idea could help retain up to 10 Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists per year, helping solve a particularly challenging industry-wide retention issue.

This in turn could help LifeLabs repurpose scarce resources and re-investment in other areas to continue growing their business.

This potential solution could be a major win for the organization and will be closely monitored throughout the implementation of the policy to fully understand the overall impact more accurately and attribute any positive outcomes back to the Swae pilot.

How  Can Help Your Organization

Gaining insights and experience from past pilots has shown that when leaders implement Swae, they discover problems they didn’t even know existed within their own organization.

What this allows is creativity to be unleashed and allows more of their own people to come together in bigger ways to solve the organization’s challenges, come up with cool ideas to innovate, and so much more.

Swae’s platform helps drive workplace improvement and innovation strategy which can transform the way leaders include others to prioritize challenges and source potential solutions from people that haven‘t had the opportunity to share their voice.

Testimonials

Lifelabs partnered with Swae to help solve an industry wide talent retention and attraction issue

“Swae is a tool I have been hoping to see developed for many years. It dispels many of the implicit and explicit biases often seen in brainstorming exercises.”

Jamie Lepard

Lifelabs

Business Continuity Program Manager

Ready to launch the best idea management platform for people-focused organizations?

Let’s go!

Swae helped Etihad leverage knowledge organization-wide to unleash powerful ideation and drive continuous innovation

Swae helped Etihad leverage knowledge organization-wide to unleash powerful ideation and drive continuous innovation

CASE STUDY

Etihad

Airways

Etihad Airways is the second-largest airline and the flag carrier of the UAE (after Emirates) with their home base in Abu Dhabi.

The airline operates more than 1,000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.

The airline company holds the distinction of becoming the fastest growing airline company in commercial aviation. With more than 20,000+ employees, Etihad Airways knows the importance of quality customer service, in-flight entertainment systems, and exclusive lounges.

USE CASE

Employee-Driven Ideation
and Innovation Discovery

LOCATION

(HQ) Abu Dhabi, Global

INDUSTRY

International Airline

SEGMENT

Ideation, Entrepreneurship,
Innovation Management

WEBSITE

etihad.com

CUSTOMER SINCE

2019

ORGANIZATION SIZE

22,000

TOTAL ACTIVE USERS

22,000

Etihad Airways needed a faster and more effective way to leverage knowledge from all employees cross-organization to unleash powerful ideation and drive continuous innovation.

The

Problem

Senior leadership realized that their manual system and processes created an environment that limited their competitive advantage, and didn’t allow enough valuable input from the entire organization.

Etihad Airways was managing their company-wide employee innovation in an unscalable and inefficient manner to try to turn ideas into decisions, resulting in poor results and outcomes.

Etihad Airways’ superhuman two-member innovation team manually consolidated a series of tools – from suggestion boxes and forms, to Yammer chat rooms and boards, and surveys — to design the company-wide innovation process for turning employee insights and ideas into  investable decisions.

Their in-house innovation process was falling short of what management envisioned. This in-house process did not allow ideas from other team members or employees across the organization to add their insights or scrutinize the proposals.

The best ideas, as determined by the innovation team using a closed evaluation process and metrics, were presented at a Monthly Innovation Council’s “Dragon’s Den” to determine their fate. In the lead up, the innovation team would coach the proposal owners on how to turn their proposal into a compelling 5-minute business pitch.

The process, while highly valuable to those who had their proposals move through the process, used an enormous amount of already-scarce senior management time in an inefficient way. Many felt left out of the loop resulting in low motivation, engagement, and productivity. The program also yielded limited results organization-wide: It required 2 FTEs to manage; produced only 324 ideas, 10 of which made it to a decision-round and 3 of which were selected, resulting in a negligible 1.5% company-wide engagement rate.

Senior leadership realized that this manual, high-touch system and processes seriously impeding the organization’s ability to innovate at a faster rate and leverage powerful insight from their entire employee base.

PROCESS oF COLLABORATION 

Swae offered Etihad Airways a platform that integrates with their existing system and allows senior management to capture the robust knowledge and knowhow of their people,  Even within a fragmented and complex infrastructure.

The integration included successfully passing industry standard and enterprise level security assessments (Penetration Tests), as well as integration with OKTA/SSO, and strict protection of data. Three complementary functions were put into place: data Anonymization, AI, and crowdsourcing.

The integration provided the bottom-up expression for ideation and new methods to drive collective intelligence in a structured, efficient, and easy-to-use way.

We worked with Swae to pilot iFikra, an internal ideation platform for Etihad employees, and the results have been encouraging. What started out as an idea platform has now evolved to be a driver of employee engagement, allowing us employees from different roles, grades and locations to collaborate, share ideas and have their voices heard. It’s taught us that there are bright ideas waiting to be uncovered amongst our employees, and importantly, that they will share and engage, if provided with the right platform to do so.

The Swae team has been accommodating to our requirements, tailoring the solution to needs unique to an organisation our size, and have been an absolute pleasure to work with. We look forward to evolving the platform with them, introducing more features and improving the employee experience as they interact with iFikra

Kai ling Ting

Senior Manager Strategy & Innovation, Digital and Innovation

The platform offers Etihad Airways’ employees a way to anonymously craft well-written proposals for submittal to the company’s innovation board and to articulate their intentions.

The platform improves on their original ideas suggesting more convincing language,  uncovering potential biases, and helps them to propose supporting evidence from external or internal resources.

SWAE’S

IMPACT

Before and after Swae integration

Swae supported the engagement agenda strongly and allowed all employees a change to submit ideas, regardless of location, work type or grade

Senior leader

Etihad Airways

before swae
with swae
Improvement
\

Users

324
8,013
2400% Increase
\

Ideas generated

324
1,297
360% Improvement
\

Decision ready ideas

10
82
660% Increase
\

Investable Decisions

3
7
50% Improvement
\

Company Wide Engagement

1.5%
37%
2200% Improvement
\

Full-Time Employees Managing Program

2FTE
(15 days)
1 FTE
(1 day / month)
100-500% Reduction

RESULTS

Integrating Swae’s platform internally supported an always-on, AI-powered, employee ideation and engagement tool.

\

360% improvement in the number of total ideas generated from the entire employee base.

\

660% increase in the total number of investable ideas

\

25% improvement in the number of investable decisions

\

2,200x improvement in the overall engagement rate of Etihad Airways total employee base

\

500% reduction in senior management’s needed time in the processes and interaction with the platform

Testimonials

Swae supported the engagement agenda strongly and allowed all employees a change to submit ideas, regardless of location, work type or grade

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

It’s a great opportunity for staff to expose ideas that will
contribute to improve the internal processes

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

I like how it was open to all ideas.

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

“Innovative and empowering initiative”

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

It was easy than expected. It was easy to understand the idea and the related aspects based on the way it was
displayed.

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

We cannot expect to be in business tomorrow with todays tools. We need tomorrow’s tools and Swae’s platform help us evolve and adapt

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

It’s a fantastic platform able to share your idea so it can come live.

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

Innovative ideas should not limited to  campaigns as ideas can develop in an instance at any time. A platform like Swae can support posting of ideas anytime all year round.

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

As an employee, it felt empowering to voice my opinions

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

Innovation could come from any sources and Swae is the right tool to tap those resources.

– Etihad Employee & Swae User

Swae helped the Bosch Alumni Network use past awardees to crowdsource due diligence and determine future project funding

Swae helped the Bosch Alumni Network use past awardees to crowdsource due diligence and determine future project funding

Bosch Alumni Network

“The Bosch Alumni Network brings together former and current fellows, grantees and staff members of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and its partners. By connecting network members with common interests but different backgrounds, cross-sectoral exchange and international collaborations can be fostered.”

Website
www.boschalumni.net

Location:
Global

Industry:
Technology – Mobility, loT, Energy

Segment:
Culture & Performance

Customer Since:
2019

Org Sample Size:
500

Total Active Users:
50

Pilot duration:
10 weeks

Case study

Inclusive decision making for determining future project funding

The Bosch Alumni Network used past awardees to crowdsource due diligence and determine future project funding.

Problem: The Bosch Alumni Network wanted a more inclusive approach to their project funding decisions and selection process

The Bosch Alumni Network has a particularly strong belief that smart decisions are made when the power of decision-making is shared by a diverse group. When Swae and the Bosch Alumni Network began collaboration, the network was about to make a difficult decision – choose which of nine projects, that had been proposed by members to advance the cultural inclusion aims of the network, would be resourced. A nine-person jury capturing unique perspectives was selected to choose the winning proposal; still though, the network was of the opinion that the further participation of its members in decision-making would add to the level of inclusion that a diverse jury offered. Furthermore, leadership recognized that decision-making done by a relatively small group can appear closed and lack their desired level of transparency. Competing with these concerns, were the logistical challenges of broader inclusion in a globally distributed network. Swae and Bosch worked together to overcome these challenges.

Process of collaboration

The proposals were imported into Swae’s online environoment and made accessible via invitation to anyone in the Bosch Alumni Network. Members were invited to comment on the proposals, highlighting concerns or favourable points for the jury to consider and were asked to show their support or lack thereof for a proposal via a digital voting system. Following engagement by the community, the jury convened to make the final decision for the winning proposal and were granted access to the comments and votes to aid their deliberation.

Results

Introducing the Swae environment into the proposal selection process sent a clear message to the Bosch Alumni Network that the desire for broader inclusion and transparency in decision making was a genuine priority for leadership. Many leaders today want more inclusion and transparency, but the intent can become muddled in the operational delays and other challenges that arise when trying to implement systems for inclusion across distributed teams with a variety of tools – the ease of engagement with Swae sent a clear message: “It had a clear signal to the community, this is what we need, we want to have decisions that involve the perspectives of [the] community” said Managing Director of the Alumni Centre, Darius Polok.

It had a clear signal to the community, this is what we need, we want to have decisions that involve the perspectives of [the] community

 

Darius Polak
Managing Director, International Alumni Center

  • Contributors to proposals with jury selection alone
  • Contributors to proposals with Swae

Beyond messaging, the use of the Swae environment truly enhanced engagement – 50 alumni participated in the conversation, commenting or voting on proposals. The use of an online environment made engagement in the conversation accessible to more than five times as many alumni than if the jury alone had reviewed the proposals. Alumni corroborated these numbers, sharing some main advantages they saw from Swae including, “More engagement, exchange, and [input] from voices beyond those on the jury”.

We’re constantly learning

From this partnership, we learned the importance of engaging with the digital tool before sharing a call for proposals. The Bosch Alumni Network proposals were written by contributors for an initially non-digital and formal project submission, making their format less conducive to online collaboration. In particular, proposals were therefore long and readers could not quickly grasp the intention without reading most of the document. In addition to engaging early, allowing us to help set expectations and offer guidance in creating engagement-friendly materials, we think this challenge can be mitigated with software: our AI will create a summary statement of each submission for easy viewing by other contributors in the network and suggest informative titles to draw contributors’ attention to the proposals. This feature is in our pipeline and will be released later this year.

Swae is furthermore adding features to support the quality of contribution and encourage fair, unbiased comments and voting. Sometimes, crowdsourced feedback can bring forward ideas based on author popularity rather than the earned popularity of the idea itself. One way that the platform will encourage thoughtful, critical engagement and minimize the biases of relationships between contributors is by including a contributor rating system – the believability of contributors’ comments can be rated by other users and these ratings will shift the credibility score of a contributor within the platform. Furthermore, the platform will suggest proposals to individuals based on their interests and skillsets, encouraging them to comment and vote on ideas that they may not have otherwise sought out within the online environment. These features will also be released later this year.

 

Add transparency to your selection process to increase trust, and engagement within your organization’s community. Add credibility to your decisions by involving more diverse perspectives. Welcome collaboration from a distributed network with operational ease.

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