Today, there is a constant push for initiatives that will create an environment that encourages innovation while coping with the interruptions of changing technology. However, typically employees are focused on completing daily tasks, without time to think about doing things differently.
Innovation doesn’t happen overnight and typically involves mistakes along the way. Be patient with the process and don’t get too hung up on errors.
Here are some tips to start to incentivize an innovative mindset into the workplace:
Define goals. Make sure your goals around innovation are clear, and use those to inspire creative collaborations.
Showcase and celebrate innovation from within your own company. Encourage employees to put their skills and designs to work improving the way work is done. Offer challenges. Encourage employees to stay on top of new technologies that can facilitate solutions. Recognize success publicly, communicating the effort that was put into the task.
Foster a culture that encourages reskilling employees and enabling them to deliver higher-level services. Learning new skills help fuel employees’ desire to think differently and deliver the very best to clients. By developing innovative talent from within the workplace, your company can succeed.
Ask employees to submit their ideas. Consider a suggestion box.
Listen to customers, even when they don’t have good things to say. You can often get the best ideas from customer complaints.
Embrace risk-taking. Sometimes workers have to fail to succeed. Don’t punish them for failure. Focusing on avoiding mistakes will only block creativity. Learn from those mistakes and fine-tune the process.
Embrace open communication. Allow employees to feel connected both with upper management and with each other by creating a combination of digital workspaces, in-person meetings and team-building experiences. Create an environment in which you can receive feedback from multiple sources.
Look at each task as a creative opportunity. Encourage employees to use daily tasks as opportunities to learn new skills or identify creative solutions to do those tasks better.
Find ways to cut out the busy work. Encourage changes in routines.
Do not let great ideas be overruled by company politics. The culture of not embracing unusual ideas typically stifles innovation.
Build a diverse team. Diverse teams and organizations can be more creative, if led effectively, according to the Harvard Business Review. Consider both demographic and psychological diversity.
Measure the results
As with any initiative, you need to frequently review progress toward goals. Research indicates that goals serve four basic functions: providing guidance and direction, facilitating planning, motivating and inspiring employees, and helping evaluate and control performance.
How are employees participating? Does everyone feel heard equally? How are ideas being translated into action? Build your company’s own custom approach as it aligns with the mission and values of the company. Brainstorm ideas on how to measure success. Innovation requires action; provide support to ideas worth pursuing.
The more you believe in your employees’ potential the more they will dig deep and deliver surprising results.
We are big believers in an empowered culture at ENAVATE. Read our fresh approach.
About the Author
Karina is a senior-level global executive with over 10 years of international experience in building successful teams, organizing resources and directing global operations to achieve profit, product and service objectives. She helps individuals, teams and organizations recognize and realize their potential and align them with overall corporate and individual goals. Karina currently leads global Empowerment at ENAVATE.