The world of business is changing and changing quickly. Whether in the form of marketing, sales and prospecting, company culture and employee satisfaction, new solutions and practices are sprouting up everywhere. Competition has always been at the heart of our culture but keeping up with such a vast number of moving parts is a huge challenge.
So how do you keep your business moving and growing in a constantly changing environment without breaking the bank? You take full advantage of the resources already available to you: your employees.
Your greatest resource, your driving force, your differentiator—each one of your employees has their own set of experiences and tools they bring to the table, many of which you may not even know about. It’s critical to develop a company culture that enables employees to expand to their fullest potential so the pool of resources you have access to grows larger and more readily available.
But how do you access those resources? How do you design a company that’s able to tap into the greatest potential of their employees, and thus the company itself?
Here’s where to start:
1. Accepting failure as part of the game
Creating an environment where failure isn’t discouraged, but celebrated, is key to making people feel comfortable trying new things. Failure is a symptom of having tried something, which is in itself a success. Teach your employees not to fear retaliation for having failed at trying something new. Instead, celebrate their initiative and use it as an opportunity to learn how to do better next time.
The more people feel free to try out new things without being afraid of negative repercussion, the more willing they will be to give their ideas a shot.
2. Change is expected
Embracing innovation means there will be change. It’s core to the definition of change itself. Consider the many roles of your employees. Have you structured your company in a way that keeps people in place, or created a more fluid organization that allows for the flexibility and movement of your employees?
When you bring people onto your team, do you talk about how their roles might change or do you simply give them their handbook and leave them to it?
If you allow your employees to get too comfortable doing the same thing over and over again, they will resist change. It makes sense, right? Change is difficult and takes work. If employees aren’t used to being asked to adjust to new ways of doing things, they’ll get frustrated and push back.
Train your employees to expect change from the get-go. Get them excited about how their roles may develop and evolve over time and encourage them to think critically about how things might be improved.
That way, you have a team full of people who aren’t afraid to go full speed ahead with new initiatives, technologies, and systems. You’ll also start to attract employees who are big thinkers and who value a rich, ever evolving office discourse. Sound like the people you want working for you?
You probably know that company culture comes from the top down. It isn’t enough just to expect your employees to come up with great new ideas. Leadership also needs to devote time and energy to thinking critically and looking for new solutions and opportunities for growth.
Without the motivation of leadership, the energy and momentum needed for innovation will dwindle. There’s no problem solidifying what you’ve already got—especially if it works. But it’s just as important to keep your eye on the future. How will your company stand out from the crowd? What can you do to optimize your processes, expand your audience, and grow your business? What big new idea are you bringing to the table?
The real value
An innovative company is one that can keep up with changing markets and evolving competitors. Investing in practices that cultivate and nurture innovation in your company is investing in your company’s present and future.
People want to be a part of growth and are inspired by a company that values a healthy exchange of ideas. You never know what you can accomplish if you keep your company flexible and open to the next big idea.
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by yarruta