Workplace Innovation: Is It a Culture?

We live in a fast paced economic global space which is far more competitive than it was a decade ago; allowing compelling creatives the leeway to pave the path to a more innovative society. A culture of innovation can be the difference between success and failure in current competitive environments. Fostering a culture of workplace innovation comes with benefits of improved employee engagement and better solutions to face a business challenge head-on.

 

According to Research 47% of high-growth companies allocate 60% or more of their innovation investment to disruptive industry. Although we aren’t recommending you start breaking the bank in order to reach even more radical ambitions, we are bringing to light the importance of beginning with incremental innovations in your organisations workplace culture.

Workplace innovation is not just limited to a group or department, it can occur anywhere within the organisation. It makes workflow processes easier with a new approach, cost-efficiency with a new solution, or finds a way to make a task more productive. The bottom-line in becoming an innovative company is to create a culture of innovation in the workplace. The key to creating a culture of innovation in the workplace is to make innovation a part of day-to-day work life. Employees who feel challenged, engaged and valued when they are encouraged to innovate will in turn, positively impact employee performance and job satisfaction. There are many strategic ways to influence the flow of innovation and ideas, and we have narrowed down five ways to bolster innovation in the workplace:

1. Clear goal setting

Goals must be clear enough to align team members, and also loose enough that team members have autonomy in how to reach those goals. It’s that autonomy, and the ability it allows for combining dynamic ideas and bringing in new perspectives, that allows real creativity to happen. Thus the collaborative approach with the same goal in mind is remarkably effective at building consensus, increasing levels of motivation and participation, pulling teams together, and training members. It provides a productive deck for experimentation, resulting in more creative ideas.

2. Choosing the right team leader

This is one of the crucial steps for organisations who are looking to drive a culture of innovation. Driving innovative culture is not similar to running a business, it needs a strategic approach that encourages the employees to participate in innovative initiatives. Trailblazer can:

  • Be a front-runner with imaginative thinking, holistic approach and a fine balance of intuition and rational judgment.
  • Create positive belief about bringing innovative changes in the organisation.
  • Create dynamic work culture where innovation is the only way to enhance productivity.
  • Build in the confidence to express creative ideas.
  • Encourage innovative ideas to take risks and learn from failure.

3. Feedback that is frequent, constructive, and supportive

Fundamentally, innovation means introducing something new into your business. This could be anything small from improving or replacing business processes to increase efficiency and productivity, or to enable the business to extend the range or quality of existing products and/or services. Or to something much larger such as developing entirely new and improved products and services – often to meet rapidly changing customer or consumer demands or needs. All while providing the guidance that employees may need and supporting their creativity.

However Don’t just address the importance of creativity, demonstrate how does an innovative culture make an organisation more effective and innovative ways to find creativity so that they can implement innovation at work.

For example, A more pragmatic system of promoting creativity in the workplace could be to dedicate a day to motivate employees to experiment with creative ideas besides their actual job work, perhaps by doing team building exercises.

4. Respecting Failure

Failure is part of the innovation and learning process, that allows employees to grow. Organisations should emphasise that every idea may not be a success. The essence of innovation is that it takes multiple experiments to successfully create new products and solutions. Organisations should respect every failure, when employees don’t have fear of failure, they will take risks for innovation and come up with great ideas.

As risk and return are the two faces of the same coin, organisations looking for higher ROI need to drive the culture of taking the risk. To reduce the chances of failure, organisations need to take a calculated risk.

However, innovation is not about failure but more about the frequency of trial. For example, people or companies like Walt Disney, Steve jobs and many others have built on their failures.

5. Rewarding and Recognition Innovation

If you desire a culture of innovation, you must reward and recognize innovative behavior, including risk taking, even when the results aren’t immediately positive. This might include giving employees free time for passion projects, offering raises and promotions to those who contribute innovative ideas, or verbally celebrating innovation efforts during a team meeting.

As organisations focus to prioritize developing an innovative work culture, it is important to consider implementing the right strategies to bring solutions for business challenges. Integrating systems where employees are able to capture, collaborate, evaluate and select ideas that will make a great difference, may be valuable to your organisation.

Sources: Acuvate, Forbes, ResearchGate