Encouraging and promoting innovation in the workplace helps your company stay competitive and defend its bottom lines. It leads to a happier workplace as a whole.
Let me ask you a simple question- What is more fun? Merely filling Excel sheets with boring data or inventing new and exciting ideas to work and projects?
We assume you’ve chosen the latter. As company leaders, you must understand the importance of innovation and provide that opportunity to your workers in their daily tasks and work lives.
An organization that inspires a culture of innovation, experience greater employee productivity, creativity, and increased employee engagement. First and foremost, let’s take a look at its importance.
Importance of Innovation in the Workplace
We have all heard people saying- necessity is the mother of innovation. And this phrase is accurate even today. In today’s dynamic market conditions, the competition is high, and the nature of evolution is rapid. Thus organizations need to understand the importance of innovation in the workplace.
Companies must embrace the newness and facet of change to figure out their customers’ and employees’ needs and demands. They must emphasis the need to solve problems and innovate products and services that are new and unique.
So, we have mentioned few points that enlist the importance of innovation in the workplace:
- Attracts loyal customers
- Unique selling proposition
- Enhances brand value
- Opportunity to improve constantly
- Attracts top performers and talents
- It helps the company to upgrade and expand its operations.
- Promotes creativity among team members
You just had a look at the vital importance of implementing an innovation culture in your organization now; let’s talk about its implementation:
8 Ways to Encourage Innovation in the Workplace
Innovation is the pillar of creativity and invention for a successful business. Your employees often look for opportunities to be more creative and innovative at work, and you as leaders must promote the same.
If you fail to recognize your employees’ sense of creativity, perhaps you are playing safe, your targets are intimidating and aggressive, or maybe it is the work overload that stops them from trying new things.
While most of it might be true, there are many ideas to promote innovation in the workplace. Here are eight things you can do for your employees to inspire them to becomes more innovative.
Our energy changes when we are standing. Without a surprise, the energy of a meeting changes, too. Out of multiple sessions in a day, conduct one stand-up meeting to observe momentum, enthusiasm, and action soar.
Your employees will show speed and become action-orientated. It helps to motivate your team and promotes collaboration.
Learn more: Tips to Conduct Productive Business Meetings
If you see something inspirational that holds your attention, immediately put it on focus all over the workplace. It can be anything- a creative ad in a magazine, an absurd menu, or a quaintly funny email that made you laugh.
Proactiveness is the crucial element! If you work from an office setup, choose the best wall and eke out a spot where you can display everything. If you have remote workers or an open office where wall space is an issue, you can do it virtually on Pinterest.
When everyone works creatively and innovatively in the workplace, others will get drawn automatically. Even the introverted employees will start contributing or at least participate in creative thought process.
Picking up Small Projects
We always think that ideas must be significant, transformative, and game-changing. In reality, it is the small and novel things that add value and differentiates you from the competition.
There are many benefits of small-scale innovation. They happen quickly without much fuss and garner the interest and attention of both your workers and organization. It paves the way for bigger, larger innovation projects to follow.
Try to change smaller things like email sign-offs, rewarding your employees for their excellent work, and how you kick-off meetings.
Rewards and Recognition
As business leaders, you must motivate people who bring in new ideas to work and drive organizational goals by rewarding and recognizing them.
You must show your appreciation for all potential ideas, regardless of whether they are put into action at work. You can do it through an awards scheme, online rewards and recognition platform, gift cards, etc.
As per the “Innovation in the MENA Workplace” poll- 44 percent of companies reward their employees’ innovation and creativity- one such organization is our very own Vantage Circle.
Get out of the Office
Encourage your workforce to take small refreshing breaks. If your employees habitually step outside, even for a quick walk around the block, it can help in the innovation process.
While they walk in the hunt for inspiration, they can play small games like finding things that begin with the letter A on the first day, B on the second, and so on. Automatically, their minds will start connecting dots between what they see and the problem they left back at work.
The beauty of our subconscious mind! You can implement this as a task or an innovation challenge among your employees.
Fuel Up on Creativity
We all would agree, the first thing we do every morning is check our phones. Advise your employees to fill their minds with creativity instead of diving into the deluge of emails.
They can pick their favorite song, podcast, or blog to start their day. The purpose of doing this is to fuel imaginations in their minds. These imaginations will further help them to think innovatively at work.
Such practices help them come to work with a fresh mind and fresh new ideas for their ongoing projects.
Implement a Strategy to Execution
You must remember, innovation is only useful if it is put to action. Provide your employees the time and resources to execute their ideas in a planned manner to achieve their goals efficiently.
If your employees fail to do as planned, this will mean that your company could not benefit from innovation. If employees feel the project is pointless, it will dry up their sense of imagination and innovation, hampering your business growth.
Listen to our Podcast: How to Handle Resources in a Company
You must designate a specific time for innovation to happen. For instance, allocate time for brainstorming, hold weekly group meetings/workshops and arrange team lunch/outings.
A team that brainstorms collaboratively is likely to be more efficient when it comes to performance and productivity. Installing a small suggestion box around the office for new ideas can solve many problems, and it becomes a sign of innovation and creativity in the workplace.
Persistence beats resistance, so, as a final thought, commitment to innovation is a brave thing to do. Your actions will inspire your team to participate.
If you do not follow an innovative culture, its time you start doing it now!