Innovation is an intriguing idea for employees; it keeps them motivated to keep up with the organizational environment and innovation helps drive learning and professional development from within. Creating and maintaining a culture of innovation at your organization contributes to higher employee retention rates. Innovation tends to encourage employees to maintain their positions because they are constantly engaged in their organizations decision-making and direction, while also being given more autonomy to contribute to the future. Here are a few tips to ensure your organization and its employees remain innovative. 1.
Create a structure for unstructured time: Ensure employees have the time they need to innovate individually, whether they are innovating internal processes or the product your company sells. Having a designated “innovation hour” gets employees creative juices flowing, allowing for more out-of-the-box thinking. “Innovation hours” also give employees a productive, company sponsored, outlet for self-motivation and pet projects. This type of free thinking often raises productivity within the workplace during structured work time, and will also prevent employees from looking outside of work for a distraction or another position. 2.
Measure what is meaningful: Finding a way to quantify the products of employee driven innovation is key to finding ROI for organizational management. The measurement indicators could be an increased employee retention rate since employer structured innovation was implemented, or your organization is innovating to the point where you can match actual revenue dollars to employee innovation. However you measure the impact of innovation, collecting data and finding what is meaningful for your specific company’s circumstance is important in finding the organizational ROI. 3.
Give "worthless" rewards: Find non-monetary rewards like poker chips or Monopoly pieces to give employees in any instance of innovation. These rewards can be used as a recognition tool from the boss for solving a problem- either internallyor externally. These rewards can also be used as a “random act of kindness” among peers for doing someone a favor or helping out on a particular project. However the rewards are used, they raise company morale by getting people around the organization talking to each other, interacting, and forming relationships. This type of morale-building will also lead to higher retention rates by making the workplace a fun, vibrant place to work together and collaborate to further common goals. Creating innovation creates a culture of connection and betterment of the organization and its individual employees. This culture often leads to higher employee retention with employees sticking around to continue to build that culture and reach those common goals.
How do you create a culture of innovation within your organization? For more information check out this article from Fast Company.