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Looking at successful businesses one common theme is the encouragement and contribution of innovation in the workplace to keep their business ahead of the competition.

Here are some great ways to foster innovation in your workplace.

1.       A stimulating environment

Having journals, books, films, games and other items at work was seen as unproductive, however, it is now recognised that they can work as sources of inspiration which boosts creativity. They don’t necessarily have to be directly related to your business.

Another inexpensive way to achieve the same result, is to hold brainstorming meetings offsite in unusual places. Take your team to parks, zoos, or museums; the change of scenario – particularly if it brings culture and entertainment together – can easily trigger the flow of new ideas.

2.       Rewards over Restrictions

Reward efforts through positive psychological reinforcement. This will make your team eager to take on assignments that amplify their potential, and as a consequence, that of your organisation. It’s important – although at times difficult – to evoke a balance between rewarding, motivating and penalizing. Many employers only focus on the latter. When your employees take risks, reward them for their initiative instead of penalizing them when they fail. The right people will still be critical of themselves and learn with their mistakes.

3.       Nurture different points of view

Innovation often emerges from customers’ feedback. Their opinions can shed light on potential areas for improvement, as well as your thriving areas, which can be pivotal knowledge for positioning against competitors. Make sure you encourage employees (at all levels) to give suggestions for improving current business operations.

4.       Diversity is key

Strength often comes accompanied by versatility. A team with different backgrounds, passions, and skills brings a varied set of ideas and solution-oriented approaches that ensure the product is moving forward.

5.       Culture & Vision

Team members should understand and share your vision. A team that possesses the same culture is more likely to work well together so that the organisation can succeed. However, this does not mean that they must all have the exact same opinions. Different perspectives echo individuality, – and as mentioned above – individuality also leads to fruitful outcomes.

6.       Passion moves mountains

Hire people who love what they do. Seek sheer enthusiasm in your candidates. You want people at your company who really care; people who are excited to go to work every day and give their very best. Professionals who love what they do are often determined to grow in their careers, hence, they can make great assets to one’s company.

7.       Holiday Time

Convey the importance of holidays. Taking time off is essential for a healthy work/life balance. Employees must be fresh and enthusiastic to be at work, in order to perform to the best of their abilities.

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