Every good employer aims to provide a workplace where employees feel empowered (and obliged) to generate new ideas. Delivering and maintaining this type of environment can be demanding, however the payoff can make it more than worth the effort and investment.
Having the right innovation strategy and tools in place can make a major contribution to keeping your workforce inspired. Every organisation will say that innovation is important, and that they value the ideas of their people. In reality how many capture this regularly or really ‘walk the walk’? Ensuring that your employees are aware of your commitment to innovation will lead to them becoming aware of their opportunity and obligation to contribute. A commitment to innovation starts with visibility demonstrating that creative ideas have a place to exist and grow.
Creating a welcoming, interactive workplace that encourages creative thinking could make a huge difference when it comes to an innovative work culture. Employees should be encouraged to put their creative ideas forward. Whether in a face to face meeting or via formal innovation portal, it is essential to have a platform that provides each employee with an outlet for their creativity.
Recognise that innovation and change can have both positive and negative connotations. Depending on the sector or organisation the ratio of natural innovators can differ greatly. Identify early adopters within your organisation. This is as crucial as securing executive buy in. Find those who appreciate the benefits of change and innovation. This can also assist in securing an early win, a project or concept that can be delivered with a relatively high degree of certainty.
The proof of concept will go a long way to winning over employees who have yet to be convinced about the necessity for innovation. Document this with solid data, share across the organisation and celebrate the success ensuring that collaborators are fully acknowledged. By doing so you will stand a far greater chance of ensuring long term subscription to your programme of innovation.
People often wait for permission to voice an opinion on something that could result in change. Give your employees the licence and the objective to do so.