The company which I work for has a program whereby employees may propose new innovations/ideas for an incentive.
I have never submitted anything nor heard of anybody who has. So I do not know what kind of incentives they offer. At this point I'd like some advice first before approaching them.
We do have Intellectual Property clauses in our contracts.
This employer has screwed me over before.
I have an idea which may (or may not) be lucrative. Considering that my employer is currently exploiting me financially, I am reluctant to share ideas or otherwise help them for free. I insist on being rewarded with a profit share of the prospective project for our whole team. I am also weary of trusting them to honour such an agreement.
Another concern is that if I sit on the idea too long, somebody else will eventually think of it and I'll be simple instructed to do it. And I won't be rewarded because it would then just be part of my job.
My conundrum is:
How do I propose the idea, whilst ensuring that they honour the agreement to give us a profit share and not just steal my idea?
Edit: Excerpts from the HR policy
Definition of an Innovation
An innovation can be a new product, a new product set, a new distribution or OEM vendor, or a newly integrated solution or application, a new or revised process, a new line of business, the condition being that the newness is related to its nature, its composition, its target market, its application, or the commercial models through which it is deployed, or a combination of these things. Where the word "product" is used, it includes services in any form.
The following solutions qualify for the incentive:
- New innovations directly applicable to the current area(s) of business of company X
- New innovations related to the current area(s) of business of company X
- New innovations unrelated to current area(s) of business of company X, but with the potential to complement or enhance company X from an overall solution offering portfolio, a profitability or viability perspective of from an organisational effectiveness perspective.
Eligibility for Incentive Bonus pay-out
To receive the bonus
- The qualifying employee should have originated the qualifying innovation idea on the relevant online forum provided.
- The solution must have been in principle approved for implementation, i.e. it must have approved for further consideration by the company X Innovation Forum.
I have noticed further down their policy that they offer a flat once-off bonus of R10000 per accepted proposal. Not good enough. And they are stingy and inflexible in their remuneration policies - that's why I am so negative in the first place.
The idea is specific to this company so I would not be able to use it own my own. I have already decided to leave here and am in the process of interviewing already. But I do not want to rush into another job that makes me miserable just for money. So I'm patiently looking for the right opportunity.
In the meantime I thought I could maybe make the most of my remaining time here by floating my ideas.
I wish I could accept everyone's answer as they are all helpful and applicable. Thank you.
I have decided to rather keep my mouth shut for now. I'll start implementing it quietly on the side, it'll be a good learning experience for me either way, and then I'll show them the results and say: "Like what you see? What's it worth to you?"