Creating a culture of innovation is about bringing out the best in your staff. As a business owner who wants to stay ahead of the competition you can work towards bringing creative ideas to life. Creativity is all about bringing life to an organisation, moving staff beyond conventional ways of seeing and into a newer and nuanced way of viewing a situation. To work creatively you will need to share and develop ideas. To share and develop ideas, you need to create an atmosphere of trust.
How do you create trust in the work place?
Working creatively means encouraging your staff to share ideas as well as remain involved, interested and willing to share. In order to do this, staff will need to believe that they are appreciated and seen as unique individuals with something valuable to offer. Staff who are physically, mentally and spiritually well will be motivated to offer their best.
Focus on relationships
Healthy relationships create a sense of trust and belonging. People who feel truly appreciated will offer up creative ideas instead of trying to second guess what management wants. In order to do this, you would need to create a sense of appreciation for each person.
Nurture strengths in teams or groups
Begin by nurturing strengths inside and outside of the office. By coaching or mentoring staff you will be able to make the most of the talent already present within your company. Finding new talent can be hard for a business. By nurturing talent already present your teams will be able to fulfil their potential. Encourage growth and learning by focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses.
Encourage groups, teams or departments within your company to draw on the strengths already present. By focusing on what is working you will enable your teams to build up deeper relationships. Encourage staff to discuss the strengths they have as well as dream up new ways of developing these strengths or working towards a goal together.
Encourage health and physical vitality
Exercise helps to build up physical and mental strength. It is also a great tension release. By focusing on physical wellness you’ll be able to increase both physical and mental wellness. Some companies offer onsite gym facilities while others make contributions towards a gym membership.
Staff sports teams may encourage team building as well as health and fitness. You could also encourage staff to cycle to work or make a challenge out of health and fitness.
Make fitness a positive factor by offering up awards or prizes for staff that attend nutrition workshops or take part in sporting events.
Encourage staff to make a contribution
Altruism produces a sense of positivity. By setting up charity events such as donation drives or community events you will create a space for staff to do something positive for other people. By extending relationships into a larger community you’ll create a sense of belonging not only within the work environment but out of work as well. Encourage each person to volunteer a hobby or skill they enjoy in order to make a contribution.
Take it outdoors
Where do staff members eat meals during lunch time? By creating relaxed spaces outside of the office (such as an outdoor space to chill) you’ll encourage your staff to gather together and work towards creating a community where all people are able to belong. An outdoor environment filled with plants or trees is naturally soothing after a morning in the office. If you don’t have access to an outside space try to create a light and airy gathering space filled with plants. Beautiful environments help to nurture strong relationships.
Encourage work life balance
Staff who put too many hours into their work yet feel stressed about spending time with family will feel burned out and have less to offer. Encourage work life balance in your staff. Options include flexi-time, remote work, shift sharing, access to maternity or paternity leave as well as, if possible, child care options available on site.
Counselling services and legal support
Crisis happens but by offering up counselling services to your staff you’ll be able to ensure your employees have a professional to turn to. Anxiety can disrupt productivity and depression results in absenteeism. By creating the opportunity to discuss problems with a capable professional your staff will be able to concentrate on work without worrying about feeling alone. Let staff know that anything shared with a counsellor will be completely confidential.
Work towards a culture of inclusion
A culture of inclusion means that all staff feels as though they belong within the workplace no matter their identity. In a culture of inclusion diversity is appreciated all and staff are able to feel valuable as well as make a contribution. Working to establish a culture where diversity is appreciated and all staff share and explore ideas will lead to an innovative environment.
An atmosphere of diversity will not only enable your company to reach a wider audience but a variety of different perspectives will able true innovation. Working on a culture of inclusion means creating equal opportunity for all staff to be heard, work their way up the company and make a valuable and creative contribution to workplace discussions.
Encourage staff to brainstorm together
Strong teams are based on strong communication and the ability to share and explore ideas together. To build up strong teams it helps to create a democratic work environment where all staff has the opportunity to be heard. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO explains that brainstorming together while building up ideas together is a source of true innovation. Give each staff member the opportunity to be heard as well as vote on ideas to implement. When staff is able to offer up creativity, motivation thrives.
Creating an atmosphere of trust and belonging is about deepening work relationships. Creating an atmosphere of trust, value and inclusion enables each person to share and contribute to teamwork as well as work towards future goals. Staff who are able to thrive within a business and who feel valued will remain committed in loyal. This will help you be seen as a company of choice as well as offer up innovative solutions within industry.