Companies aiming to be the next industry giant all try to cultivate one thing: Workplace innovation. Having that space where new ideas are constantly exchanged can help build something even better than what could have been imagined.
Innovation can mean different things to different businesses. It could mean a change in business structure, relationships with suppliers or clients, or even a completely new work environment. Workplace innovation practice can help encourage employees to create new ideas, express their thoughts, and challenge the status quo. All this can lead to better results and an improved workplace communication system.
What makes innovation so hard to get right is that it can’t be forced; you have to take the time and energy to cultivate the right environment for your team to create imaginative solutions. Here are six workplace innovation ideas to transform your workplace.
1. Be Flexible
The traditional 9-5 is starting to become a thing of the past for many companies. Creating a relaxed and flexible work environment can help increase productivity. Allowing team members to come into work when they are recharged and ready to tackle the workload is an example of workplace innovation. Not everyone thinks best early in the morning, and it’s okay to recognize that!
2. Find Passionate Workers
Find people who love what they do. You want employees who care and are excited to come into work every day because they believe in your business model. Hiring those people who want to make a difference helps foster that mindset in other employees as well.
3. Cut Out Some of the Bureaucracy
A global staffing firm, Robert Half, surveyed more than 2,000 CFOs to discover what was preventing their firms from being more innovative. Thirty percent of those surveyed said too much bureaucracy was the issue. Of course, some bureaucracy is essential, but if workers have to jump through too many hoops to get anything done, it means that innovation is reduced. An example of workplace innovation could be to simplify the process of idea creation to implementation. The objective is to enable good ideas to rise quickly and have clear pathways in place to allow them to be implemented.
4. Allow for Socializing
Many companies have incorporated open spaces into their office floor plans because it encourages intermingling and the exchange of ideas. Living Social, located in Washington D.C., is an excellent example of workplace innovation. The company provides workers with both recreational and meeting spaces that encourage its workers to move around.
5. Diversify the Workplace
The more varied point of view and experiences your workers have, the more likely this will be to increase innovation. A workplace innovation example could be rotating jobs so that they are meeting new people and having new experiences. By embracing the individuality of your team members, you can help encourage out-of-the-box ideas and new problem-solving approaches that help create workplace innovation.
6. Reduce the Workload
The same survey, by Robert Half, found that 27 percent of the surveyed CEOs believed that distractions from daily tasks, and putting out fires, was the reason for lack of innovation. People are most creative when they are busy, but not overwhelmed by repetitive tasks or long hours. Having enough staff members can help free up mental space and energy to allow for workplace creativity.
Another workplace innovation example is allowing your employees “unlimited” PTO to help them recharge their creativity. Worn-down workers won’t be able to produce the highest quality of work needed. Ensure that your employees stay fresh and are excited to come into work by encouraging vacation time.
Make innovation the norm. By doing what you have always done, you will never grow and you will be one step behind the competition. There are both big and small ways you can show your workers how much you value and appreciate their ideas. By making workplace innovation the new norm, you might be surprised by what your business can accomplish.