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 business, especially if you encourage innovation in your company. If you want to promote innovation in your small business, try these eight steps.

1. Share ideas openly

Encourage your entire team to share their thoughts. They should feel comfortable voicing their opinions to their coworkers, their boss, or to you personally.

2. Create a suggestion box

Not everyone wants to share their views publicly, so a suggestion box can allow your shyer workers can still confidently voice their thoughts. Be sure, though, to read through submitted comments regularly and act on the best ideas.

Read also: 7 Tips for Creating a Feedback-Rich Culture

3. Host brainstorming sessions

Set aside time for the whole company to get together and bounce ideas off one another. Together, you might be able to solve a lingering problem or develop your next product.

4. Don’t punish small mistakes

If you micromanage your employees or punish minor errors, they’ll likely be afraid to come up with new ideas. Give your staff the freedom to take risks and try new techniques.

5. Respond to all ideas kindly

Remember that there are no dumb ideas. You don’t have to implement every suggestion but listen carefully when a worker comes to you.

6. Reward creativity

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

7. Dedicate time to exploring ideas

Your staff already have a lot to handle but give them time dedicated to working on new projects. For example, you might take a page from Google’s book by allowing your team to spend 10 to 20 percent of their work time on a project of their choice or doing something outside their job description.

Read also: 6 Ways You Can Encourage Your Employees to Be More Innovative

8. Embrace diversity

When you’re hiring, hire people from different backgrounds and experiences. They’ll each bring their unique perspective to the table, which can help your company come up with brand new ideas.

Read also: 4 Reasons You Need a Diverse Workforce