All Roadmap for Achieving Workplace Innovation
All HR and Workplace

Roadmap for Achieving Workplace Innovation

Author: Ravijojla Novakovic Last updated: March 5, 2024 Reading time: 9 minutes

Every organization wants to see innovation in innovative workplaces in their rows. Here are 11 ways in which you can drive workplace innovation.

Every organization that wants to stay competitive in the market should encourage innovation in the workplace. Many companies say they want to see their employees innovate – but do not know how to inspire them to do so.

Read on to find out how we define workplace innovation, what are the best ways to drive it in your organization, and the best examples of encouraging innovation in the workplace.

How To Define Workplace Innovation?

Innovation in the workplace is the process of introducing new ideas, services, products, business processes, or methodologies in a work environment. Innovative solutions can improve existing products or services, solve problems, and improve the ROI or productivity of a certain business process. There’s not an HR department out there that doesn’t openly encourage workplace innovation, but attaining a deep perspective on innovative thinking is a challenge on its own. It’s important to note that workplace innovation isn’t a singular event or process but rather an environment in which fresh ideas can be developed, tried and tested. Truly innovative companies rely on mutually reinforcing practices to support innovation as their cultural pillar. After all, creative thinking is achieved overnight.

11 Ways To Encourage Innovation in the Workplace

There are numerous ways to drive innovation in the workplace. For one, employees should feel safe to voice their ideas in a business environment. Second, you cannot expect innovation to happen if you have dissatisfied employees – so make sure they are happy with their compensation and benefits package.

Third, you must create a positive and encouraging company culture where innovation can take place more easily.

Here are some more specific ways to help you drive innovation in the workplace

1. Recognize your employees’ work

When you recognize your employees’ work, you reassure them they are doing well. Moreover, you increase their confidence, which can also help them voice their ideas more loudly.

However, recognition has many forms and can come from different people – not only superiors. Peer-to-peer recognition is a great example; improves employees’ relationships and increases the possibility for future cooperation.

Employee recognition is a powerful way to engage your employees, which is a prerequisite for innovation in the workplace. In fact, research shows that 88% of employees who receive strong performance recognition are proactively innovating.

2. Ask employees what they think

If you want to increase workplace innovation, ask your employees: what do you think we can do to help you innovate more? Chances are, they will have some ideas on it, and it might help you detect your pain points more easily.

A great way to find out how your employees think and feel is through regular employee surveys.

Moreover, ask your employees to think of a situation where they were thinking creatively. What inspired them to do so? 

3. Set up collaboration workshops

Workplace innovation rarely happens in a vacuum. Rather, in most innovative companies, it is a product of vibrant brainstorming sessions and exposure to others’ points of view. When employees approach a single matter from different angles, they can see it holistically and easily spot opportunities for improvement.

Therefore, it is important for employees to collaborate closely and frequently if you want to see higher levels of innovation in the workplace.

4. Create a culture of continuous feedback

One thing that employees want more of in the workplace is feedback. Millennials and Gen Z crave informal feedback in the workplace to get a sense of how they are doing – and to improve.

If you do not offer continuous employee feedback, you are not allowing your employees to realize what they could be doing better.

Research shows that 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once per week. Since engagement drives innovation in the workplace – it is clear what you need to do.

Do not miss out on this simple opportunity! Here are additional resources on employee feedback:

How to give constructive feedback to employees + examples

5 Positive feedback examples to give to your employees

5. Promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Innovation and creativity are among the most prominent benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. When people from different backgrounds are given a voice, they approach the same problem, solving a single matter from multiple different standpoints: that’s when innovation happens.

It is incredible how much racial and ethnic diversity can add to a workplace. Not only does it inspire innovation, but it also helps companies to tap into new markets and increase their performance.

6. Organize creativity workshops

Why not let professionals work for you? Hire external help to make innovation processes and organize creativity workshops – or hire a creativity officer in your company to help you continuously drive innovation in the company.

Examples of workplace creativity workshops?

  • Art classes
  • Escape room
  • Cooking lessons
  • Gardening sessions
  • Writing Workshop
  • Acting lessons

7. Boost your employees’ engagement

59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas, compared to only 3% of disengaged employees.

Employee engagement is one of the most important aspects of a workplace, and it has numerous other benefits. It positively impacts employees’ productivity, job satisfaction, and performance. On the other hand, disengaged employees cost US taxpayers approximately $ 500 billion annually in lost productivity.

8. Support interdisciplinarity

One of the main postulates of innovation in the workplace calls for creative collaboration out of departments that usually would not collaborate. Workplace innovation can happen where you least expect it. Interdisciplinary collaboration can help different ideas to grow and evolve by providing completely different perspectives.

9. Experiment and make it ok to fail 

One of the best ways to drive innovation in the workplace is to experiment. Let your employees know they can try and test something new. If it fails – it is ok.

Not all experiments your employees propose will be successful, but it is important that they do not feel pressure to succeed. If they do, they will be less likely to try new things out.

10. Enable communication flow in all the directions

45% of employees agree that overcoming the middle management “permafrost” layer is one of the top challenges companies face in order to be able to successfully innovate.

This is why you need to make sure that your employees always feel comfortable voicing their ideas to their superiors. This is much easier if they see how upper management communicates. Therefore, try to include your CEO in your employee communication strategy.

11. Educate line managers

If there is a single person who affects employees’ happiness, productivity, and performance during their time with a company, it’s their direct manager. It is no different when it comes to innovation and encourages creative thinking in the workplace.

If you want to make innovation a part of your company’s mission, you must educate managers on how to enable and support it. 

how to encourage innovation in the workplace

What Are the Biggest Workplace Innovation Benefits?

To many professionals, it is obvious that innovation in the workplace can benefit businesses. However, there are more ways than one in the inherently social process by which this is done.

1. Forward-thinking customer care

Your customers are your priority, as well as their well-being, and they can get better service with an innovative approach to their problems. If your employees get together to work on a project centered around catering to your customers’ needs, you can expect increased customer satisfaction and product adoption.

2. Increased productivity and reduced costs

Innovation in the workplace does not always have to center around implementing novelties in products and services. Sometimes, it refers to optimizing work processes to enable employees to be cheaper, faster, or more effective.

3. Having a competitive edge

Of course, workplace innovation’s ultimate benefit is helping businesses offer competitive products and services and increasing revenue in the long run. It is only logical: when business leaders and employees innovate, they are helping their businesses stay ahead of the competition or to level the playing field.

4. More employee engagement

In an innovative environment, employees are more likely to understand how their work contributes to the overall goals and success of the organization. This sense of purpose gives a tremendous boost to engagement. When employees are given the opportunity to contribute ideas and are empowered to make decisions, they feel a greater sense of ownership over their work. This empowerment naturally leads to more commitment.

5. A collaborative culture

Collaboration plays a crucial role in fostering creativity, problem-solving, and the generation of new ideas. These are all staples of a terrific, collaborative culture. Organizations that prioritize collaboration create an environment where employees are encouraged to work together, share ideas, and collectively contribute to the creative process, ultimately leading to more innovative outcomes.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are companies that never challenge their practices or encourage innovation in the workplace. Employees do not feel confident to innovate in those environments. In fact, stale company culture only increases the likelihood of employees resigning.

How Semos Cloud Turns Employees Into Innovators

Here at Semos Cloud, our mission is simple: to help you improve your employees’ experience. Today, employees have more job options than ever – and organizations must prove to be top employers if they want steady employee retention and engagement.

Innovation will take place only in a productive work environment, where they feel engaged and safe to voice their ideas. Technology can play a crucial role in helping you achieve that – especially in a remote or hybrid work environment.

Semos Cloud’s employee experience platform is a solution for companies that want to improve their company culture, engage employees, and prevent turnover. It’s an all-in-one platform for employee recognition, communication, feedback, surveys, and wellbeing.

Get in touch with our representatives to see how your employees’ experience can be improved to unleash the power of innovation in the workplace.

Reward creativity and drive progress.

Get started today and watch your workplace culture transform!

JobPts provides a variety of ways to recognize and reward employees for their innovative ideas, contributions, and achievements.

Book a Demo