Virtual Receptionist Whitney S and Sales Associate Brittany Marten
Brittany Marten (right) and Virtual Receptionist Whitney S

Employee empowerment can be a strong force in business. We’ve seen it happen! Providing every employee with the tools to innovate has led to countless staples of the Ruby culture and our customer experience: Our Wow Station, book club, quarterly incentive campaigns, and the Ruby Spelling Alphabet all started out as one employee’s dream.

The Ruby Spelling Alphabet came from Brittany Marten, a receptionist who has since become a member of our fabulous Sales team. She had been using the traditional spelling alphabet (“A as in Alpha”) but felt it didn’t fit the experience we aim to give our callers and clients. She saw an opportunity for innovation and took it! She explains,

I was chatting with my cube mate about verifying spelling, and I mentioned how much more fun it would be to have a Ruby-fied Spelling Alphabet. ‘I as in Ice cream,’ for example. She loved it, so I took the idea to our next Open Meeting, and everyone else loved it, too!

Each quarter, we hold an Open Meeting, a place where people from every department come together and  breathe life into new ideas. Anyone can submit a topic, and everyone is eligible to attend. At this particular meeting, we decided that the best way to create a Ruby Spelling Alphabet would be to involve as many people as we could: Crowdsourcing or “Ruby-sourcing,” if you will.

We posted a challenge on Opal, our internal social networking site, and asked the team to help us come up with a brand-new spelling alphabet from scratch. The brainstorming session was a huge success, giving us tons of fun, upbeat words to go with each letter of the alphabet. From there we narrowed it down to the best 26, and voilà!

The new alphabet is now part of our training, and we’ve been hearing some truly fantastic feedback from callers and clients. It was an easy change to make, but one with great results. The experience has proven, once again, that all innovation needs is someone with a great idea and a place to share it.

How do you empower your employees? Share your pearls of wisdom in the comments section below!