Innovation continues to be a key focus for companies looking to capitalize on their past successes. But businesses can measure success in very different ways. While some measure it based on their revenue, others measure it by the competitive advantage they hold in the marketplace. For many, however, a business’s profit stems from their ability to stay competitive through innovative practices. In fact, approximately 82% of companies say that innovation is integral to their business strategy and success.
What many business leaders wrestle with is how to build a workplace that fosters this type of growth amongst its employees. While it’s entirely attainable to establish an innovative workplace, the real question is, where do you start?
What to Look For in Employees
Employees play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining an innovative workplace. They can be responsible for formulating a creative idea and seeing the concept through to completion. Knowing this, many employers are searching for ways that they can identify employees who will bring this innovative thought process to work. Employers should look at hiring a diverse group of people who have: the ability to take risks, to learn something new every day, and to be willing to share ideas openly to others. By hiring employees with these natural tendencies and traits, you can foster company innovation and growth.
What Employers Should Do – Establish the Proper Working Environment
Innovation thrives in an environment where it is welcomed. If someone is working in an environment that restricts change and breakthrough, employees will be less likely to be inventive and creative. To promote an environment that fosters innovation, employers need to begin by creating a space that allows creativity to flourish and work together. An office with an open concept layout and design allows for collaboration and communication by encouraging discussion. Further scheduling weekly meetings that enable employees to learn from each other will also improve their skill-set and expand their thought process.
What Employers Should Do – Provide Access to Resources
When striving for innovation, it’s important that businesses give employees the appropriate resources to reach their goals. Keeping up with advances in technology, is one such resource that is crucial to adopt, as it can allow for individuals to build upon their previous skills and assist them in learning new ones. Once new technology is in place, it’s essential to ensure that your employees have access to it and to encourage them to experiment with it.
Additionally, employees need to be given ample time to access these resources throughout the workday. Google allocates 20% of each employees day to follow their passions and be innovative. Not only does this allow employees to further research and dissect their ideas, but it gives them the freedom to be creative without the stress of work.
Regardless of how you measure success, innovation is key to establishing your business as an industry expert in 2017. If your company is not consistently pushing the envelope, it is falling behind. Make innovation a key component to your growth strategy, today!