Innovation isn’t always just about products or services – it also about how you ‘do business’. Developing a focus on innovation within your workforce can create a greater competitive advantage, improved staff retention rates and attraction of new customers.
By creating an environment to stimulate employee innovation, you should encourage forward thinking, knowledge sharing and an overall way of doing ‘better business’. Here are our top 5 things you should adopt to help create an innovative working environment:
To ensure that people feel comfortable bringing new ideas to the business, you should encourage your employees to be honest and share any ideas they have, regardless of what they think the outcome may be. They should never feel too scared or worried that their idea might not be good enough.
By hiring people with different personalities, you have a greater chance of receiving a larger range of innovative ideas. You should aim to source talent that is aligned to your company values and culture but also those who may have different perspectives and ideas from you.
Even if you strive to encourage an innovative culture, for some employees this simply may not be enough for them to feel completely comfortable in bringing innovative ideas to the table. You should therefore be sure to implement a process where ideas are provided, assessed and reviewed in a structured way with feedback provided in a timely manner.
Where possible, successful ideas should be implemented quickly. Employees will see that they are being listened to and their ideas are being adopted, which should in turn increase engagement, motivation and in time overall productivity.
Regardless of the outcome, you should reward your employees for providing ideas, whether that be on an individual, team or whole workforce level. Even though their suggestion may not have been implemented, by giving recognition of your employees efforts and will encourage them to continue to share ideas to help improve the business.
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