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3 Ways to Encourage Innovation in Employees

Courtney Scharf
January 29th, 2013
Many companies consider encouraging innovation in employees to be the key to success, but how does a leadership team actually do this? Incredibly valuable but somewhat tricky, encouraging new ideas and thinking can be achieved by employing particular practices in a working environment.

In creating an environment that pushes employees to be as innovative as possible, this line of thinking should be reflected in company culture. Making changes that reflect an increasing and strong value placed on new ideas is an effective way to do so, and when executed correctly, sends a strong message to employees. Making innovation a solid and important aspect of evaluation (and ensuring that employees are aware of this) can be a huge motivator in terms of making this kind of practice a normalized part of employee goals.

Aside from evaluation, managers can increase innovation in employees by holding regular meetings dedicated to new ideas alone. This not only makes employees feel that their opinions are valued, but gives a chance for them to exchange ideas freely. When participating in this kind of activity, it's important to strike a careful balance between structure and openness. In meetings such as these, it's incredibly important to both make employees feel comfortable enough to share their most unusual ideas while at the same time keeping participants on task.

Demonstrating appreciation and the value of innovation is another way in which companies can encourage new ideas. Publicly and clearly rewarding innovative work sends a clear message to employees, and placing emphasis on these kind of efforts will pay off for employers in the long run.

For more information on enabling employee innovation and more, check out Trend Hunter's Business Trend Report.