LONDON – Business – Over the years, there have been countless pieces of advice about how to better engage your employees. Companies have created more flexible schedules, bought ping-pong tables, and redesigned their workspaces. With all of the statistics showing how engaged employees benefit a company, businesses large and small were willing to do virtually anything to increase employee engagement.
But a ping-pong table doesn’t always make a company a great place to work. So, what does? There’s one consistent trend that excels at engaging employees, and that trend is creating a culture of innovation. Why does innovation culture engage employees? Here are 4 reasons why it works, and why businesses are jumping on board.
Growing Returns on Your Efforts
Fostering innovation in the workplace have a cyclical effect on innovative efforts and employee engagement. According to a MacLeod and Clarke-backed presentation that was released in 2012, a culture of innovation benefits employee wellbeing, and improved employee wellbeing leads to greater levels of growth and innovation. This positive correlation means that even a small effort at creating an innovative culture can create a ripple effect on your business that leads to ongoing improvement within the business.
By placing an emphasis on innovation, you increase employee engagement. The more engaged employees are, the more they innovate. And the more innovation they see in the workplace, the more other workers will become engaged in the efforts. These compounded returns can have astronomical impacts on your business’s growth.
Increased Investment in Company Values
One case study released in 2009offered insight into how innovation can better connect employees to a business’s core values. The study, which focused on a leading defense and support services company, demonstrated a significant cultural shift after implementation of innovation efforts. Not only were employees more engaged, but the cultural shift offered more “values-driven employee engagement” than before.
Employees became better connected to the core values of the business and had a better understanding of those values. Why does this matter? Employees who are invested in your company and its values are more loyal to your business. And loyal employees are a valuable asset.
Greater Autonomy and Ownership of Projects
Another key component of an innovative culture is to offer employees the opportunity to own their innovations. Many businesses provide a program in which employees can do more than just submit an idea for consideration; they can oversee that project from beginning to end, and take ownership of it wherever possible. They’re offered the time and autonomy to work on these projects, and therefore, have the ability to take pride in the work they do.
As many previous studies have shown, such autonomy is a key component in employee engagement, and in creating a positive work environment.
Training Active Innovators
Another reason that innovation culture is the trend for employee engagement is that it offers ongoing advantages for the business. You’re not simply going to be engaging your employees with a fun activity or a free weekly lunch; you’re going to be engaging your employees while actively training them to contribute to your business’s growth and success.
A culture of innovation encourages employees to solve problems and to actively search for a better way to do things. Once this way of thinking is ingrained in their minds, it’s difficult to turn it off. This trend in employee engagement provides businesses with all the benefits of other engagement efforts while turning the workforce into a force for innovation and business improvement.
It all begins with basic innovation training, and some innovation management software for employees to submit ideas. With this foundation in place, you can build your own innovation culture, and begin reaping all of the benefits of this trend in employee engagement.