It is easy for things to become stagnant in a workplace. When the same people are doing the same job every day, it can become routine and they can grow complacent. But, even if you have an exceptional group of employees, you still may find yourself wishing your team would come up with more investment-ready ideas. If the ideas are not coming, you may need to reevaluate your workplace climate and try some more creative approaches to innovation.
As Glenn Llopis explains, “Allowing [employees] to propel innovation and show initiative is the key to successful workplace revival and an opportunity to re-energize individual and organic organizational growth.” Let’s look at some ways you can revive and re-energize your employees.
- Make Room for New Ideas
If your work environment does not make room for new ideas, you should not expect innovation to happen. You must make sure employees feel comfortable discussing innovative ideas, as well as the ideas that need to be changed. Brainstorming sessions should be routine with all employees feeling like their ideas are listened to. This does not mean you will like every idea, but your employees should feel like they can safely offer a suggestion.
- Encourage Collaboration
If your work environment seems cutthroat with one employee out to take another’s job, you should not innovative ideas. True innovation requires a team of people. It begins with an idea and then moves on to a team to develop the idea to a team to market the product. Innovation does not start and end with one person. Therefore, you should always encourage collaboration. If your team is regularly working independently, make some changes. For instance, instead of using individual desks, consider using tables.
- Invest in Innovative Management Solutions
Innovation management solutions are made to the purpose of helping companies brainstorm, work on new ideas, and bring them to fruition. These programs make crowdsourcing and market research easy and usable. Innovative management programs become collaborative cloud spaces for employees to brainstorm, research, evaluate, and implement ideas.
- Give Some Down Time
You may think this suggestion will do just the opposite, but research shows rest is necessary for creativity. In fact, “According to the latest neuroscience, overwork makes your brain ‘dull’ in the sense of being the opposite of ‘sharp.’ Overwork, in other words, kills your creativity.” If you are working your employees nonstop, they are probably burnt out. It is hard to think of innovative ideas when you are tired.
Instead, you should give your employees some down time. This may look like creating a true “breakroom” where employees rest and do not talk (or think) about work, or it could mean telling your employees to go home a little early some days.
- Offer Incentives
Some people frown upon the idea of using incentives in the workplace. However, incentives go a long way in encouraging employees to try harder. And, incentives vary greatly from one company to the next. Some companies offer compensation, others offer awards. The importance thing is that you have an incentive program where employees will want to share new, innovative ideas with their employers in hopes of being recognized.
- Embrace Mistakes
Finally, if you want to inspire innovation, you must be willing to embrace mistakes. Not every idea works. But, amongst the not-so-great ideas, you may find one that works very well. If employees are reluctant or afraid to suggest unique ideas, you may be missing out on the best one yet. Instead, create an environment where mistakes are excepted from time-to-time and lessons are learned.