The world of business is changing—and changing quickly. Whether in the form of marketing, sales and prospecting, company culture, or employee satisfaction, new solutions and practices are sprouting up everywhere. Competition has always been at the heart of company culture but keeping up with many moving parts can be a 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, driving force, and differentiator—each of your employees, have their own set of experiences and tools they bring to the table. By developing a company culture that enables employees to expand to their fullest potential, the pool of resources you have access to grows larger and more readily available. And in doing so, you invest in the future of your employees, enabling them to grow farther in their careers while building strong, mutually beneficial relationships.
So how do you design a company that can tap into the greatest potential of their employees, and thus the company itself?
Here’s where to start:
1. Fail with grace
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 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 negative repercussions, the more willing they will be to give their ideas a shot. And the more opportunity you all have to develop ideas and practices that create wins.
2. Embrace change
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 to keep 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 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 ahead with new initiatives, technologies, and systems. You’ll also attract employees who are big thinkers and value a rich, ever-evolving office discourse.
Does that sound like the people you want working for you?
3. Lead with purpose
You probably know that company culture comes from the top down. It isn’t enough to expect your employees to come up with 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 essential 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 long-term outcome
An innovative company 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 something engaging and are inspired by a company that values a healthy exchange of ideas. You never know what you can accomplish if you design a company with an open mind: flexible, open to new ideas, and poised for growth.
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by langstrup