Innovative companies are often profitable ones, because they are great at finding the best, most creative solutions to their problems. However, innovation is not created in a vacuum—it requires a workplace culture conducive to new and creative ideas.
Innovation is a process—each effort builds on the previous attempt to develop something. Therefore, a company should expect false starts and near misses if it wants to encourage long-term innovation from its employees. When hiring new employees or managing existing ones, heed this advice on how to drive innovation:
- Hire individuals that possess the essential education and skillset that their positions require, but who also possess other beneficial traits such as curiosity and adaptability. A diverse team can provide varied approaches to solving unexpected problems.
- Recognise that not all new ideas are successful. For this reason, it is important that your workplace culture does not make employees fear failure. That may seem counterproductive, but your business should be actively supporting efforts to try new ideas. While those concepts and ideas may not always be successful, they were an effort to move forward rather than remain stuck.
- Push employees to learn more. New technologies and methods are being developed every day to improve efficiency and productivity. Encourage employees to attend training and educational sessions to build their knowledge base. Through exposure to new ideas, your employees can continue to grow.
By developing a workplace culture in which employees can devise new and creative solutions, a company can help foster innovation.
However, developing workplace culture requires continuous observation, management and adjustment as the industry and your employees change. Do not fall into a formulaic, rote routine regarding how you develop your business’ culture—this is the quickest way to stymie innovation and render your culture unable to engage employees. If you keep refreshing and refocusing your business’ workplace culture to foster innovation, your employees should follow suit by continuously searching for creative, novel ways to overcome your company’s biggest problems.