When all companies in a particular business sector are offering similar products or services, there is a lot of competition and the profit margins will be low.
On the other hand companies that innovate, selling a unique product or service, will often make a lot of profit, and are market leaders. So businesses of all sizes will try to create an innovative workplace, to encourage their employees to innovate and create new products or services which will greatly boost their sales and profit.
However, most employees take up a job in a company expecting to do routine work for a monthly salary, and a special effort has to be made to encourage them to deviate from the routine to do something innovative. There is always a risk of failure while doing something new and innovative, and if this will adversely affect the employee, he is not likely to take the risk.
Some of the tips which could help a business create an innovative workplace are discussed for the convenience of business owners and management of businesses which are interested in innovating
Focus On Culture
An important aspect of innovation is hiring the right people who will take the risk of innovating as they define the culture of the company. It is important to hire employees who are creative, will readily embrace changes in the workplace, technology and services, and like to take up new challenges.
These people are more likely to help the company grow by proposing and implementing innovative changes in the workplace, products and services sold by the company.
Make innovation Part of The Job
The job profiles of employees in the company, should be defined in such a way, that innovation is an integral part of the work that employees are doing. Just because a particular task is done by employees in a specific way for the last five years, it does not mean that an employee should not try to change the way the work is being done to improve productivity.
The performance of the employee during appraisal should be linked to his or her innovation at the workplace.
Build A Diverse Workforce
The company should take the effort to recruit and retain a diverse workforce . The more diverse the workforce with different backgrounds and experience, the greater the number of ideas and innovation they are likely to have.
In a diverse workforce, people are more likely to hear the perspective and opinion of those who come from a different background, become more tolerant and learn new methods,and ideas which will help them innovate.
Create Internal Hackathons
As part of the company focus on innovation, there should be special events, hackathons and days where employees will devote all their time and resources to solving certain problems in an innovative way. Cross functional teams may be formed, to find innovative solutions to problems and business challenges which the company is facing.
The winning team will be awarded prizes,or the solutions offered will be considered during the performance appraisal process.
Focus on Non-monetary rewards
Many people prefer to work in an innovative workplace even if they do not receive adequate monetary compensation, if there are other rewards and incentives, like a stimulating and pleasant environment, interacting with like minded people.
The company should try to understand what innovative young people are looking for, when they are searching for a job and try to cater to their requirements. Some of the incentives offered by some companies to their staff include flexible working hours, the ability to work remotely from home for some time, and a friendly work culture.
Unless a company shows its employees that it will support employees who are taking a risk, and will not penalize failure, most employees are not likely to deviate from their routine activities and innovate.
The company should also show that it rewards innovation, offering monetary and other rewards to the employees who are making the effort to innovate, so that other employees will also be inspired to follow their footsteps. Innovation is particularly important in the tech sector where products and services are changing rapidly
So developing an innovative workplace can help a company develop innovative new products and services which their employees would have never otherwise thought of, greatly improving the profitability and growth of the business.