How to foster a culture of innovation at work

How to foster a culture of innovation at work

Learning & Development

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

254 week ago — 5 min read

You all must have heard of the phrase, “A rolling stone gathers no moss”.  Similarly a business can thrive and successfully stay afloat during stiff competition if and only if they are constantly innovating. Innovation is the keyword here and without it businesses are going to face doomsday sooner or later. So as business owners, how do you ensure that you are fostering a culture of innovation in your organisation?

Innovation undeniably starts with the leader of a company. Being the owner of a small business, the key to innovation starts with your leadership qualities.  Here are some tips to foster a culture of innovation at work:

1. Take responsibility

We often consider innovation as being the sole responsibility of the R&D team or the marketing team. But as owner of an organisation, it is up to you to carry forward the innovative thinking that made you start this company in the first place. Motivate your team members to open their window to innovation and in addition to doing their regular job, create a culture where they can sit together and brainstorm new ideas that can benefit both the company and lead to their personal growth. Push your employees beyond the box and encourage them to pursue ideas that inspire them.

2. Build innovative teams

Your employees are the building blocks of the company. And hiring the right team can propel your company towards a brighter future. If you want to create a culture of innovation at workplace then the key is to hire people from different backgrounds. Working with people from such a diverse background will lead to great ideas and innovation that will suit the equally diverse range of consumers you are catering to. You can try out the following things that many big companies practice:

  • The 20% time concept- This was started by Google where they allowed all their employees to dedicate 20% of their time working on new creative ideas.
  • Hackathon- A great concept to build relationship and foster innovation. Mix up different teams to work on interesting projects. This way you are also spreading cross-departmental learning.
  • Time off- It is natural to get overwhelmed with work and when that happens you can allow your employees to take some time off work to focus on themselves and come back refreshed and ready to start again.

Create a culture where employees can depend and trust other team members to get the work done in case of any emergency. There should be clarity of objectives and an effective work structure to motivate your employees to work harder.

Also read: Productivity in the age of information overload

3. Don’t punish failure

It is important to understand that in a business, failing is okay. You are not innovating if you aren’t failing. It takes multiple hit and trials to hit the sweet spot. So, instead of punishing people for a failed experiment, support them and encourage them to try harder until they reach their destination. This will not only help in fostering a culture of innovation at workplace but will also help you build a strong team that will respect and grow with you.

Innovation undeniably starts with the leader of a company. Being the owner of a small business, the key to innovation starts with your leadership qualities.

4. Cultivate an environment of open communication

Unless your employees are communicating with each other, they will just stick to their regular run-of-the-mill tasks and there wouldn’t be much scope for innovation. Encourage employees to engage in healthy and open discussions where they can pour in their ideas without being judged.

Also read: Strengthen your business with innovation

5. Give your employees time and space

Stress at work is increasing by the day which is leading to employees feeling anxious all the time. It is perfectly natural to get overwhelmed and overworked. But understanding that these are the major reasons behind lack of innovation is also important.

Give your employees the flexibility to work at their pace. Give them the time to conceive and execute an idea before rushing them with deadlines or firing them! You can try considering flexible work hours and remote working to ignite innovation and retain your employees’ passion.

6. Lead not by fear but by motivation

Fear can kill innovation faster than you can imagine. If your employees are afraid of opening up to you about their problems or are being punished for making a mistake, they would eventually stop taking risks all together and there, you have flushed innovation down the drain!

Being afraid to take risks also leads to mediocrity at work. Successful companies are led by passion, imagination and empathy, not fear. 

By following the above steps, you can certainly ensure that you are creating a culture that fosters innovation and productivity.

Also read: 10 ways to win the coolest office award

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GlobalLinker Staff

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