The workplace is changing, and this is a great thing. We don’t work the same way we used to. Technology and the evolving needs of consumers, both customers and clients, have changed the way we need to do business. Now is time for the real innovators to get to work, and they need the tools to get the job done. If you want to stay competitive and bring your business into the future, it’s time to prepare your workplace for the innovators who will help you reach new levels of success.
5 Ways To Introduce Innovation at Workplace
1. Keep Everyone Talking
We all get great ideas when we’re alone. You’ve probably had a few million dollar shower thoughts of your own. Most people don’t have these thoughts at work because they’re kept alone in their cubicles, and they’re kept very busy.
Encourage socialization in your workplace. Let employees work together on certain projects. They’ll be able to collaborate and learn from each other. Before you know it, their ideas will turn to puzzle pieces that connect to form a larger picture.
2. Set the Right Scene
You won’t be able to do much innovating with everyone stuffed into cubicles. It may be time to search for a new office building.
Innovation involves allowing people to work together in new and different ways. If your office is a lot of private spaces and doesn’t have open areas for collaboration, you’re going to need to find something a little larger. Most traditional office environments aren’t designed for innovative collaboration. You can rent any area you’d like – it doesn’t need to be a regular office.
3. Empower Your Employees
Let people do things their own way once in a while. Just because you’ve used the same strategy for years and years doesn’t mean it’s the best strategy you have at your disposal. Your employees work their jobs every day. They have more experience dealing with the finer aspects of their positions than you do.
When they have different approach they’d like to try, encourage them to do it. Even if it does no more than automate or simplify a menial task, it’s freeing up more of their time to get to things that are important. This is a small kind of innovation, but it leads to more productivity.
4. Get Together Often
Have meetings all the time. People only dread meetings because they’re typically routine and boring. How often do you have meetings that exist solely for everyone to touch base with each other and celebrate their successes?
If you want innovation to work, one hand always needs to know what the other is doing. Let people compare notes and spread suggestions across departments. In one way or another, everyone is working together. Encourage them to communicate directly. You may be surprised what you find.
5. Treat Every Idea Like a Good Idea
You may have innovators hiding in corners because they’re worried about how their ideas will be received. Even brilliant people can be a little nervous about rocking the boat. Allow and encourage ideas from everyone in your office. Be willing to entertain every suggestion, and don’t dismiss thoughts just because they’re half completed. Work together to finish a plan, and be willing to take risks. Nobody changed the face of the world by being overly cautious.
Related: What it takes to Resolve Workplace Clashes
Innovation rarely happens overnight. It’s a much slower process than most people expect it to be. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you a while to see real progress in the arena of innovation. Keep working at it, and praise your employees for their efforts.
Author Bio: Judy Herbert is a blogger who specializes in small business management and growth topics. Currently working at NYBizDb.com, she develops her marketing and sales skills.