June 14, 2022
Did you know that 5.4 million companies opened last year? And, out of all these companies, there are thousands of employees with innovative ideas just waiting to be shared.
To create a culture of innovation and inspire your employees, you need to take the right steps. Work culture should be inclusive and encouraging, not demotivating and dull.
Now, you might be thinking, do you need to invest thousands to improve work culture? Or, are there simple and effective methods that you can use to foster better working relationships?
Thankfully, this article will give you all the answers to these questions. Here is your guide to making innovation the heart of your business.
Why a culture of innovation matters
Every company has its own way of doing things from how the files are documented, to what culture they create in the workplace. Yet, all businesses should be fostering a culture of innovation.
Organizations are always changing and new employees are constantly being hired, so it’s hard to keep up with the changing environment. Unfortunately, things can become repetitive after a while…
If that sounds familiar, then you’re not alone. However, there is always a way to mix things up and make changes to an existing system.
For example, Paul Kinsel the CEO of Notarize saw an opportunity to revolutionize signing documents and change a process that was 100 years old.
He created an app that connects you to licensed notaries via video chat so you can see your document being signed in real-time.
The same rule applies when creating an innovation culture. You need to be willing to adapt as time goes on and keep track of current trends to stay relevant to your employees.
Companies with the best innovation culture thrive because they listen to new ideas, are open to feedback, and maintain a friendly workspace where everyone feels encouraged to share their thoughts.
How to create a culture of innovation
It’s easy to throw words around the internet like “innovation” and “innovative job” but there are few articles that tell you exactly how to turn your office into a hub for creativity.
Luckily, this section of the article is all about giving you the steps for making an innovative culture.
1. A place for new ideas
You can give the best presentation on innovation and business during a work meeting but if you don’t provide employees with a place to put their ideas, then it’s worthless.
Placing a suggestion box at the entrance of the office, or sending out a survey every month, are both excellent ways to give your workforce a voice in decision making.
Providing an accessible place online or offline is essential for nurturing a culture of innovation. Hireology is already implementing strategies to make employees feel heard.
The main concern for Hireology is providing empathy and communication with their staff. Now that most businesses are hybrid working, that means there are most work concerns facing employees.
It can feel lonely working from home and being away from the office. Once you start to disconnect from the physical work environment you can feel demotivated about innovation.
To convey empathy at work you can even organize job swaps. By pairing employees up with other members and switching jobs for a day, people can gain an insight into how other people feel at work.
If you can grow a sense of empathy and free communication at work, it will help the staff feel understood and confident in their innovative ideas.
2. Identify creatives in your team
Making a business successful is about more than just collecting data, planning fundraisers, and finding investors. You need to create a team of people with different personality traits.
For instance, creative employees need to be rewarded for their new and exciting ideas. A great way to involve your employees is to actively look for creative people amongst your team.
You can promote certain workshops, hold meetings, or leave flyers on the desks and send them via email for people to come across. This allows people who are quiet, or less confident, to come forward with their initiatives.
To be able to get creative ideas from your staff, you need to include everyone.
Blockchain companies like Paxos are popular right now and so is inclusivity. To build an innovative atmosphere you need to include everyone.
That means, bringing people together starts as soon as you employ a new member.
If you’re looking for a special way to make new hires feel included at the company then gifting them a bag of freebies will definitely make a good impression!
Furthermore, hosting afternoon snacks with treats and home-baked goods will keep people together and help form bonds between employees. This is how you provide an inclusive space at work, and it doesn’t cost much!
3. Include innovation during recruitment
Instead of scouting out creative people that already work for the company, you can include innovation in the recruitment process. For example, you can provide interview questions that center on team building.
Through activities like presenting an imaginary new product, you will be able to assess the candidate’s ability to contribute to the company’s vision. That way, you can already find the right people to include in the creative team.
Security is a main concern for the company SecureLink. However, to work for this business you need to have a passion for learning and a desire to improve your skills.
Even though hiring employees with amazing credentials is the most common way to hire people, it’s also worthwhile considering candidates that are enthusiastic about learning.
Sometimes, the best employees are the ones with the most potential. These staff members could end up being the most innovative at work. So, always keep an eye out for keen learners!
4. Gamify innovative processes
Nowadays, companies are implying game mechanics to motivate and reward their employees for innovative ideas. Designing interfaces that look like video games are guaranteed to make people more engaged at work.
If you present innovation as a game that can be rewarded and appreciated, then more people will want to get involved. Plus, who doesn’t want to game at work?
It makes the process of coming up with new thoughts and business ideas a fun experience that includes everyone!
5. Give people a place
Ultimately, transforming your workplace into an innovative center means listening to people. However, it also means giving them a place in the design process.
You want to make people feel as if they’re part of the final product and have had a tangible effect on its outcome. Understanding the needs and problems of consumers is key to making your business relatable.
If you ask for feedback from your employees and give them agency over improvements, then they will feel part of the business. Therefore, your team of staff is more likely to commit to the company for longer.
Evive is a business that deals with big data and helps people optimize their work benefits. However, when it comes to innovation, they aim to promote a culture based on the cause.
You need to make your employees feel as if they have an impact at work. This is one of the most effective strategies for getting innovative ideas from your team of staff.
Although work is an important part of people’s lives, it’s not everything. You should promote a healthy work-life balance at your company. Some examples of supporting your staff are encouraging them to volunteer or do charity work.
Relaxing is a perfect opportunity to brainstorm ideas and come to work with a fresh mind!
6. Embrace failure
The worst thing you can do in a work environment is limit employee engagement because of the fear of failure. If people feel as if they can’t share ideas in case it doesn’t work, then you might miss out on something special.
Instead of being scared of failure, why not embrace it!
You should make it clear that failure is a part of the process, and it shouldn’t prevent innovation at work. A good way to ensure people feel comfortable enough to make suggestions is to share failures with your employees.
Stories of failure are just as important as stories of success. It makes us human and creates a space for people to put themselves out there.
For Floqast, it’s all about transparency. As a cloud-based software company, it’s vital to be open with your clients as well as your employees.
A work culture should be a safe place to share concerns about internal and external business affairs. During these moments you can build trust with your team and this will transfer to other areas at work like innovative jobs.
Get help building your innovation culture
As you can see, innovation is an integral part of any business. Many companies like Evive, Floqast, Paxos, SecureLink, and Hireology are already making the most of the innovation culture at work.
Paul Kinsel took the opportunity to make something better and used innovation to create an incredible product. So, why aren’t you?
And, if you need help, Carla has all the secrets to implementing innovation into your existing work culture. Get in contact to find out more.
Carla is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author. Having lived, worked, and studied on five continents, she's partnered with top brands and conferences to train thousands of people how to rethink the work that they do and the impact they can have. Her visionary expertise has inspired and equipped leaders at all levels to embrace change, welcome new ideas, and transform their business.
Her work with Fortune 500 brands served as the foundation for many of her books. Her tenth, RE:Think Innovation, is a #1 new release that busts the myth that innovation is something that requires a specific degree or special training. In fact, Carla explains why, to be a successful company in today's hyper-competitive, customer-driven world, innovation must be everyone's business. Her goal is to teach one million people how to become innovators by 2025.
Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking. Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.