graphic of how to encourage innovation in your company

How to Encourage Innovation in Your Company

Your employees are your greatest resource. They can help you solve problems and improve your company, especially if you encourage innovation in your company.

How do you encourage innovation? The best way is to create a company culture that celebrates it.

When you create a culture that celebrates innovation, you’ll have a competitive advantage over your competition and be able to compete with larger companies. You will no longer hear the answer, “Oh, that’s just the way we’ve always done it.” Your team will be working toward improving and innovating your company every chance they get.

8 Tips for Creating a Culture of Innovation

Creating a culture that celebrates innovation doesn’t happen overnight, but there are steps you can take to start creating it.

Share Ideas Openly

Encourage all your employees to share any idea they come up with. They should be encouraged and welcome to share those ideas with other team members and their boss at any time.

Create a Comment Box

Not everyone will be comfortable sharing their ideas face-to-face, but a comment box will allow everyone to share their ideas with confidence.

Don’t just put out a comment box and forget about it, though. Make sure to read through the comments weekly and act on the best ideas. When an employee’s idea is chosen, they’ll be proud and take ownership over the idea.

Host Brainstorming Sessions

Set aside time for the whole company to get together and brainstorm. Guarantee that every idea will be heard and reviewed in that meeting. At the end of the meeting, the company can vote on which idea they’re most excited to act on.

Tony Robbins said, “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s a possibility, but if you schedule it, it’s real.” By scheduling regular brainstorming sessions with your company, you know that brainstorming will happen.

Don’t Punish Small Mistakes

If you micromanage your employees or punish small mistakes, they might be afraid to come up with new ideas. Give your employees the freedom to try new ideas and take risks.

Respond Kindly to All Ideas

Remember that there are no dumb ideas, so respond to every idea kindly. You don’t have to follow through with every idea, but tell your employees that you will consider every idea.

Reward Creativity

When an employee comes up with a great idea that you’re going to follow through with, reward that employee. It doesn’t have to be a big reward – it could just be as small as treating them to lunch or buying them a movie ticket or two.

Dedicate Time to Innovation

Your employees already have a lot to handle, but give them time dedicated to coming up with new ideas or working on new projects.

Google does this with their 80/20 initiative. They allow their employees to spend 20% of their time on a project of their choice that’s outside their job description. You don’t have to give your employees the full 20% because you have a much smaller team than Google, but even just 10% can go a long way.

If your employees don’t have a project to work on but want to come up with something new, encourage them to spend their innovation time daydreaming or going for a walk. Taking time to just think will help them find new solutions to problems.

Build a Diverse Team

Just because you want to hire people that fit into your culture, doesn’t mean that every person has to be the exact same. When you’re hiring, hire people from different backgrounds and experiences. They’ll each bring their unique perspective to be able to come up with brand new ideas.