Innovation: A Make Or Break For Retention

Innovation: A Make Or Break For Retention

Employees are a vital resource for bringing in new ideas and techniques. And employees must be motivated by rewarding them for their creativity and providing the company with new ideas.


In a global economy, businesses have to compete against organisations around the world for a greater foothold on the market. It, therefore, becomes imperative for the company to introduce innovation in the workplace. For employers, innovation can help create new products and services that bring in additional clients. Creative options like wellness programmes and telecommuting are likely to make way for quality employee pool. When it comes to holding employees in the long run, innovative workplaces seemingly have a better retention rate.

Employees want forward movement 

While some employees may be content with where they are, most aspire to achieve higher goals in their careers. The only way to make them move forward is through employee development. It is not possible for a workplace to offer promotions and leadership positions for every employee. However, one can offer manage employee development options like educational programmes, education reimbursement, and crosstraining opportunities.


Likewise, it is not possible to give a raise or promotion to everyone, but they can be provided with newer training opportunities. Such opportunities help in developing the workforce, which also implies that the organisation is getting bettertrained employees for the same salary. Moreover, providing new opportunities cultivates a sense of gratitude among the employees. When they feel appreciated and enjoy their workplace, they are less likely to go elsewhere.


More than the daily grind

No matter how great you are as an employer, there are bound to be routine, mundane tasks from time to time. It is impossible to give exciting and interesting projects for every employee to work on. While the tasks may be routine, one can still satisfy the needs of the ambitious, forward-thinking employees through other techniques.


Therefore, organisations need to adopt innovative ideas in the workplace. If the leadership is constantly working on new ideas and revolutionary projects, it will surely excite the employees. Marketing a new project or solving engineering issues gives the employees something to work for. New and interesting projects help to make your employees happier, which can also encourage them to stay longer in your company. 


Junior employees can be innovative 


Unfortunately, many workplaces adopt a top-down management approach. And instead of encouraging new ideas, these traditional workplaces direct and coordinate low-level workers. No one is able to think or act outside of this rigid hierarchy. This is a humongous problem because some of the company’s most creative workers are low-level and entrylevel employees. Instead of merely rewarding their tenure in the company, encourage lowlevel employees to speak up. Often, these new employees bring with them new ideas and fresh perspectives. 


In addition to making the workplace more productive, listening to junior employees encourages them to stay in the company. Employees need to feel that they are being taken seriously, and are valued in order to stay at a job in the long run. 


Innovation is difficult to define 


While it appears that every business consultant, corporation, and training seminar speaks about the value of innovation, very few people bother to define what innovation is. In reality, the definition of innovation changes depending on the industry and the business.


The main goal is to define:


• What innovation means to you? 


• What kinds of goals are you working towards? 


• Is your company creating forwardthinking ideas and leading your industry into the future?


Like any goal, innovative objectives of an organisation must be clear and measurable. One has to know what they want in order to accomplish it. In addition, the goals must be measurable so that one can know when it has been finally achieved. One should also make sure to communicate their goals and ideas so that everyone in the workplace knows what to work for as a team. 


Poor execution leads to disruption 


A few years ago, Coca-Cola decided to release a product called New Coke. Among focus groups, New Coke tested well. People actually enjoyed it more than the traditional Coke. Unfortunately, Coca-Cola did not realise just how strong the nostalgia factor was among its customers. Coca-Cola held such a sway over the American culture that no one wanted to buy New Coke and give up the old formula. Ultimately, Coca-Cola switched back to its traditional blend. 


Innovation is often a good thing, but this is not the case every time. A poorly executed idea or initiative can end up harming the corporation’s bottom line. And if the poorly executed idea involves employees, it can end up causing them to leave. Before you adopt any new ideas, spend some time in getting feedback from your employees first. Often, the frontline workers provide the best feedback because they actually see how product rollouts and policy changes function in practice. Once it is decided that the idea will actually work, it needs to be planned out carefully to avoid a sloppy, unsuccessful introduction.


Companies must be adaptable 

For a company to succeed in today’s economy, it has to be adaptable and flexible. Rigid companies are unable to change and evolve as they need to. Netflix stands out as a good example for an innovative and adaptable company. When Netflix has a major change to its product offerings, it fires the workers who are no longer needed. In a typical corporation, the business would try to move these workers to other positions and avoid laying them off. Netflix removes any workers who are no longer necessary so that it can adapt to changing market conditions. 


Thankfully for your workers, being adaptable does not mean you have to fire a bunch of employees. Instead, encourage workers to come forward with new ideas. Be open to change. If something does not work out right away, offer new solutions or techniques that will get the job done.

Driving innovation 


If employee retention is the company’s principal goal, it needs to find ways to drive innovation. Employees are a vital resource for bringing in new ideas and techniques. And employees must be motivated by rewarding them for their creativity and providing the company with new ideas. If the other employees see someone getting a bonus, gift card, or are openly thanked for a creative idea, they will be more likely to dream up innovative ideas as well. 


Other than rewarding creativity, new ideas can be encouraged by giving workers space to think and create. This may involve giving them actual physical space by offering telecommuting options. You can also give your employees space to innovate by setting aside time for brainstorming. Smart employers also encourage employees to collaborate together on new ideas.


From investing in development to becoming more flexible, there are numerous ways for an organisation to emerge as an innovative workplace. In addition to inspiring creativity, these techniques will also encourage employees to stay with the company. When the employees feel encouraged and rewarded for their ideas, they will want to continue their career with the organisation and dream up even better ways of doing things.

Josh Fechter is the Co-Founder and CEO of Squibler. He has written five books and has penned several blog posts. Forbes has noted him as one of "12 Innovative Founders To Watch And Learn From."


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