What do you do to encourage and implement innovation?
Do you have a team of Managers brainstorm in a meeting
Do you rely on your Directors or MD to come up with something?
Or your marketing team?
Innovation for just about every business is important. Without innovation you just stand still and in the current market place this is not advisable. But a lot of companies struggle with finding new innovation ideas and/or implementing these ideas.
A big contribution to this is the mind set of your staff. No one likes to be ‘told’ what to do, even children react better to being persuaded rather than told. So why do so many companies ignore the great resources they are already paying for? The staff!
If your company does not encourage and nurture a culture of inclusion, making changes of any kind is difficult. If you involve the people who are effected by these changes and encourage their input, the change is much more organic. Staff feel valued and you will be surprised at how many things they will come up with that Managers may not have thought of.
So start right away! Start with your team leaders, if you have them, or the most outspoken members of staff. Explain what your aims and outcomes are and why you need their input. Human nature is to be needed, included, valued – so make sure your staff know they have these things from you. Get them to go back to their teams and have a chat during break times (or extend a break time by 10 minutes) so they can discuss what you need and have them report back with ideas. They will feel they have a purpose and you will have some great ideas. When I first started this process my first objective was to improve our Social Media postings (not my strongest skill!), my staff were a little resistant so I made it a bit of a competition – the member of staff who came up with the best post each month got a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine. The response I got was great, it was worth the £10 I spent on the prizes! Now it is just second nature to them, I walk through the factory and staff are throwing ideas at me, things they have seen on their way to work, ideas that came to them when they were out and about. It is great having such open creative thinking and the staff feel much more included in the progress of our company.
Some will be a but ‘raw’ but you maybe able to use the ideas and expand on them to make a real change.
Remember as a Manager how good it feels when something you have done makes an impact on your company, get your staff to experience this same feeling, they will be more receptive to change in the future and more likely to offer positive suggestions for improvement without being prompted.
Staff are an asset you are already paying for, so utilise your assets to make positive change and improvements.
I would appreciate your feedback on this topic, please let any comments below. Many thanks