Improving Employee Innovation

Business’ innovation involves generating new ideas that result in a new product or improved ways of carrying out business processes, hence more productivity and staff retention. Every business should develop an innovative business culture to increase efficiency and performance, thus increasing business profitability. The ability of the company to innovate determines the survival and competitiveness […]

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Business’ innovation involves generating new ideas that result in a new product or improved ways of carrying out business processes, hence more productivity and staff retention. Every business should develop an innovative business culture to increase efficiency and performance, thus increasing business profitability. The ability of the company to innovate determines the survival and competitiveness of the business.

The following are five ways in which business leaders can improve their employees’ innovativeness:

  1. Encourage and support an innovative culture.

Business leaders should create an innovative culture by encouraging employees to be open, share ideas and explore new initiatives. Since employees fail to become innovative due to fear of retribution, leaders should make their employees understand that they wouldn’t get punished for coming up with new initiatives.

Business leaders should also welcome new ideas and be approachable. They should allocate time and resources to support new ideas. For instance, business leaders can organize meetings, retreats, and suggestion boxes to share ideas that can improve the business processes.

  1. Prioritize on talents, perspectives, and background diversity during hiring.

Business leaders should emphasize getting employees with different perspectives and unique capabilities during the hiring process. They should also get individuals from diverse backgrounds and with a strong passion. The newly recruited be oriented well to align them with the business’ culture and vision.

  1. Offer regular training of employees.

Employees need to undergo in-service training to equip them with new skills to make them innovative. Businesses should facilitate the in-service training by catering for the training cost. During promotions, leaders should consider those who have undergone more in-service training to increase employees’ interest in undertaking the training.

  1. Reward employees’ innovativeness.

Rewarding innovation is a way of showing the employees that their efforts are appreciated. Rewards should be categorized into individual rewards, teams’ rewards, and workforce rewards to keep everyone on board.

It’s always advisable to appreciate the idea and encourage the individual to suggest new ideas, primarily when the idea doesn’t reach the implementation stage. Appreciation of an unimplemented idea will encourage the individual or team to bring in new ideas in the future.

  1. Adopt an immediate innovation implementation policy.

Business leaders should implement employees’ new ideas quickly to make them feel that their opinions determine the business’ direction. Employees are happy to see their ideas implemented. They will also work hard to ensure the idea succeeds and share more ideas with their team leaders.

Application of the above tips will ensure that your business competes favorably with others in the industry. Business leaders should also remember that an innovative culture is not created and strengthened within a day; hence they should be patient with the process.

Originally published on Jerry Swon’s website.

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