The key to stimulating innovation among employees is to offer platforms, such as a “suggestion box”, an open debate or a competition, in which they can express their ideas. Employees, if they have the opportunity to present their proposals to managers, will feel more taken into consideration and involved in business decisions.
As the British Airways example shows, such competitions are particularly effective if they focus on a specific problem that needs resolution. To further motivate employees, you need to think about how to enhance the winning idea, for example with a cash reward or an award of recognition. Once you have chosen the best idea, it is important to implement it by giving life to tangible initiatives and products. This is proof that the company is trustworthy and will inspire staff to participate in future innovation programs.
Create a stimulating work environment
Needless to deny, a drab workstation is not the most adequate space to foster innovation. Companies should inspire employees by providing a visually stimulating work environment.
The presence of works of art in the workplace has been shown to be an important factor in fostering an innovation mindset. 64% of respondents believe that art in the workplace stimulates creativity and productivity, while even 77% agree that a stimulating work environment can broaden the horizons of employees, as well as encourage dialogue and the free expression of ideas.
However, an exclusive collection of works of art is unlikely to be part of the future plans of most companies. However, thanks to new advances in inkjet technology, businesses can bring a touch of vitality to their offices at a reduced cost. Large format printing solutions allow you to print on virtually any surface imaginable, including canvas, glass and metal, opening up a world of possibilities in office design. Similarly, video projectors can be used to project any colorful image, in order to liven up monotonous and flat work environments.
While these four tips may seem pretty simple, their implementation requires dedication and commitment.
This is especially true for larger, established organizations, where structural barriers and formal procedures can pose a real challenge to implementing innovation driven primarily by staff. In this case, for companies wishing to implement the ideas outlined above, it is essential that there is full support from the management of the organization. Supporting these efforts, as long as they are implemented consistently, will produce important benefits in terms of a more stimulating and engaging work environment and transforming a company’s future.