Innovation is the key to a business's success. Without new products, a company can't survive. Some of the greatest products come from employees' original ideas as opposed to business-centric thinking. That's why it's important to foster your workers' creativity instead of squash it. Take a look at the tips below for how to establish an environment full of free flowing ideas:
1. Set aside time for non-work-related projects
While your employees should focus on the work you assign them, you shouldn't be afraid to let them consider their own ideas. Some of the most successful companies, such as Google and 3M, encourage their workers' free thinking, George Deeb, managing partner at Red Rocket Ventures, told Entrepreneur. Even an hour of not working directly on company products can help promote creative thinking, which can lead to new projects for your business. While they may not start off as ideas for the company, they might become popular products.
2. Encourage them to try, even if they fail
Success has never come without a bit of failure along the way. It certainly wouldn't have made it's way into a business if entrepreneurs gave up at the first sign of defeat. Encourage your employees' entrepreneurial spirits by allowing them to try out their ideas, Geneca CEO Joel Basgall explained to Entrepreneur. Their success is your success, so offer them advice for how to improve their designs and watch their ideas come to fruition.
3. Challenge them and allow them to do the same to you
Don't let your employees get comfortable in the tasks they're doing. While it's important for them to do their jobs, it's just as essential for them to continue learning. Innovation can't come from a stagnant workplace. Give your workers tasks that will challenge their thinking and let them think outside the box to solve them, the source suggested. You also shouldn't be afraid to let them challenge you. While you should definitely set boundaries, you might also get new ideas out of them. They might be able to come up with a better way of doing things that you might not have thought of and it'll benefit your financial plan.
4. Celebrate no matter what
Whether they succeed or fail, you should congratulate their achievements, Basgall said. Celebrating your employees' attempts will encourage them to continue their creative thinking to design potentially successful products and come up with better solutions. Even failures should be rewarded because it shows they're at least trying to brainstorm new ideas.
A creative workplace lets your employees know that their ideas and innovation are appreciated. Your business will benefit from their free thinking.