All entrepreneurs know that how important it is to encourage an innovation culture in the workplace. We are living in an era where not only we need motivation and encouragement in our personal endeavors concerning our own personal lives, but also in our workplaces. Therefore, you have to agree that it’s a mandatory as employers to create an innovation culture that encourages your employees in the workplace to be more creative, innovative, and also allow them to grow. It makes your employees to want to work with you and your company for a really long time. Not only that your employees will be looking forward to work every day and eager to get the jobs done, but also come up with more solutions and ideas, and hence the success for your overall company.
The environment you create for your employees really matters, regardless of how talented and creative they maybe. Like I mentioned earlier, it makes people want to remain in your company if you are that type of employer who encourages them to grow and succeed professionally.
I have come up with six ways you can create innovation culture and environment in the workplace where creativity and problem-solving is welcomed and encouraged.
- Encourage them to be problem-solvers and creative
One of the reasons why companies and businesses are created or started in the first place is because these businesses and companies want to solve problems that surround our communities, nations, and et cetera; therefore, if we can get our employees to think the same that they are hired to solve problems, perhaps they would become more innovative. It’s good to remind them that they were hired because someone or some people saw they are well-equipped to solve the problems according to the tasks and positions assigned to them. Encourage your employees to see the workplace as a platform for them to be innovative, it will give them reasons to care and give them more confidence to bring solutions and new ideas to workplace, and then take action to bring them into reality.
- Set up some kind of rewarding system in the workplace
Employees are always on the lookout for some kind of rewards for their contributions in the workplace. It can come as recognition and appreciation awards, bonuses, or promotions, and et cetera. This technique has always worked. There is nothing more motivating than to be appreciated and recognized for your contributions, it works like a charm. It’s okay to set up a little budget from a little portion of the profit to reward your employees for their contributions and for the success they have brought to your company. For example; I used to work with this organization, and each year they would reward all employees who have somehow brought some kind of new ideas and innovation to the organization that were major contributions for the success the organization had obtained in that current year. The rewards would be in the form of money, but on top of that they would recognize them and write what they have done in the organization newsletters so that everybody else in the organization would know. And I have to say that would fire up the rest of employees to also be more innovative so that next time they would also get such recognitions.
- Have weekly or monthly meetings to connect and brainstorming
With the technology advancing, we now can schedule and conduct meetings at our convenient times even when all employees are scattered all over around the world. Thanks to Skype or GotoMeeting for instance, for making it easy to have online meetings and hence help reduce many other costs such as logistic costs or conference packages costs, and so on. Having your teams or departments for weekly or monthly brainstorming sessions can encourage innovation and empower each individual to participate. Working together as a team, is a good approach that can help bring many ideas and solutions, and more likely to be more effective. You can also decide that each end of the week or month to host budget friendly meetings in the workplace to discuss about different things like sharing weekly or monthly success stories, challenges and way forwards. This would be a great time to also welcome new ideas and solutions to the table from your employees, but to also get to know each other.
- Have suggestions boxes, or online forums
You can set up an online page on the company website or a separate blog to encourage your employees to participate and raise their ideas and views on particular issues, or projects. This will be some kind of an online forum to be used by each department and accessible to all employees to exchange information and pass on knowledge. Make it more fun, but work-related, doing that it will encourage them even more. Some companies and organizations create closed Facebook groups or WhatsApp groups as a way to create an innovation culture where all employees can participate and exchange views on subjects of interests. You can also place suggestion boxes in the workplace; they can say something like ‘request for new ideas to solve particular problems.’
- Change your office desk positions
If you have your own office, or a cubicle, whether in the workplace, or you are working from home, sometimes switching up a position it’s just a tweak you may need to help you become more creative, energetic, and active. I am not a Feng Shui teacher or expert, but sometimes I get bored to sit in the same place, same position every day. And I have found out in those days when I feel unmotivated, when I change office desk position, or office location, I get more energized and motivated. Employers should allow employees to use conference rooms in the workplace when they are vacant, so that they can be freer to come up with new fresh ideas and be more creative. If you are working from home, you can decide to move to your living room, dining room, guest bedroom, or even the kitchen if it works for you.
- Be the example you want to see
People are always watching how we live and do our jobs even when we do not notice it. One of the best ways to motivate and encourage people is through our own lives examples. As an employer, leader, boss, or manager, when you are innovative, the people around you will also be inspired to be innovative. So lead by example and always keep your door open to new ideas.
It’s amazing how much your company or organization can succeed when you encourage a culture of innovation in the workplace. You may have very talented, intelligent, and smart employees, but they can lack motivation in the workplace, and hence be less effective and productive as they should be, so it is important to prepare the environment that encourages them to be more creative and problem-solvers.
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To your success,