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10 tips for a happy, productive office to boost innovation

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Ah, the office. Some days, everything is golden, and it’s a well-run, efficient place. On other days it’s closer to chaos! The truth is, having a productive office that is the best it can can make the world of difference to the prosperity of your business, so why leave it to chance?

By taking the necessary steps to make sure your office is a place where you and your employees can work to their maximum capability, you can ensure your business is as profitable as possible, and that the digital transformation opportunities boost innovation and creativity.

Despite heavy investments both in terms of time and money, innovation still remains a frustrating thing to manage for most organizations. The reason behind the lack of innovation isn’t the fear of failed executions or a complete lack of ideas from the employees, it is the absence of an innovation strategy and a process that can leverage innovative ideas and turn them into successful projects.

Using a digital workplace to collate and manage ground-breaking ideas from employees can inspire a culture of innovation, make employees feel valued within the organization, and motivate them to share their ideas freely without the fear of failure or rejection. Here are some of the many ways that a digital workplace can pave the path to innovation and creativity in a productive office.

1. Encourage employees to brainstorm tough problems

When employees are constantly bogged down by boring and repetitive tasks all day long, they have little to no time left to even think about solving tough problems or come up with innovative ideas. A digital workplace in a productive office helps by automating repetitive tasks and saving the time of employees which they can in turn use to focus on more complex and tougher parts of their jobs. This does not just lead to higher efficiency and better performance, but it also improves the overall employee experience.

2. Adopt a flat management approach

A strict hierarchy is one of the biggest killers of innovation in an otherwise potentially productive office.

If your employees feel that they are only allowed to think about innovation when their superiors ask them to do so, they will never reach their full potential. Innovative companies take a more flat management approach with sufficient transparency across the different departments and teams in order to break down barriers and siloes among employees. After all, a lot of innovation happens through collaboration among different teams.

A digital workplace paves the way for innovation in this case by introducing much-needed transparency in the organization and allowing employees to clearly see what is happening in other teams and the organization as a whole, even when they are physically located in different offices.

3. Give your employees a reason to care about innovation

In order to be innovative in a , employees need to feel valued within the organization and they need to feel like they belong. They shouldn’t just think about innovation because it’s something that their managers expect them to do, they should think about innovation because they want the organization to grow for the better.

With a centralized and transparent digital workplace, it becomes easier to keep everyone in the loop so that employees can see how their efforts help the company achieve bigger results. It helps to bring employees along the journey by developing an organization-wide innovation strategy that does not exclude anyone.

4. Give more space for creativity

Just telling employees you expect them to be innovative is not enough. You have to create the right conditions and give them more space to be creative. When employee schedules are already packed with back-to-back meetings, calls, and deadlines, they may not have any free time at all to even think about innovation.

Therefore, to encourage innovation, companies need to start by allowing employees some time for expression and free-flowing thoughts.

A digital workplace platform can leave room for innovation by automating parts of processes and streamlining workflows. Moreover, creating a shared team calendar and slating down some extra time for team members to brainstorm on new ideas and collaborate together can also help imbibe a culture of innovation

5. Encourage employees to think about innovation every day

Innovation shouldn’t be something that your employees only think about when they are in a team meeting, workshop, or retreat. When innovation only stays as an occasional afterthought in your organization, you may never be able to access the complete potential of your employees’ innovative ideas and creativity.

Instead, the goal of a productive office should be to make room for innovation each and every day. This can be anything from hypothetical work challenges to creative polls. You can also actively use shared communicational channels on the digital workplace platform to encourage employees to share their thoughts.

6. Open more cross-team collaboration opportunities

Everyone sees work problems from their own point of view. By bringing people together from different verticals of the organization, you can shed light on the problem from different perspectives which can, in turn, encourage cross-team collaboration and deliver innovative solutions.

But when employees from different teams and departments use different applications to manage their work and communicate, it can make cross-team collaboration a rather big challenge for a productive office.  A unified digital workplace for the entire organization ensures that the employees all work through the same centralized platform, regardless of the department that they are in.

7. Open communication

If your organization is trying to become more innovative, then communication should be the main focus from start to finish. Seamless communication between employees and business leaders is needed to reinforce the importance of innovation for your company’s strategic growth. For innovation to be a critical part of your company’s work culture, your employees should know that their superiors are always there to support them — and all of that starts by establishing two-way communication.

A digital workplace supports open communication in an organization by creating organization-wide communication channels where employees can freely share their innovative ideas and suggestions, to be constructively reviewed by the senior management.

8. Be transparent

Introducing transparency is the first step towards innovation in organizations. Employees that work in a transparent work environment are more engaged in their roles and they always push themselves to perform their best. There are also reports that show that transparent work cultures improve employee happiness, and when employees are happy and more engaged, they become more innovative.

A digital workplace platform creates a more transparent work environment by allowing employees to track all the projects, tasks, and processes that they are involved in through a single dashboard, which also leads to fewer email follow-ups, reduced confusion, and more work being done by employees.

9. Employee wellbeing

Burnout is a real thing that can severely affect employees and their work performance as well. When employees have too much on their plate, not only can it overwhelm them and affect their productivity, but it can also end up leaving little room for innovation.

A digital workplace allows managers to see all the tasks assigned to each employee and identify the team members who might be struggling with too much work. It can also help initiate direct 1:1 meetings between managers and employees to understand the main struggles and challenges of employees.

10. Rewards and recognition

In order to get the best results from your employees when it comes to innovation, you need to find a way to actively recognize and reward successful ideas coming from employees. Now, this isn’t as simple as annual company retreats where you reward employees for their great ideas during the past year. This is about consistently recognizing employees for their great ideas, every month or even every week.

A digital workplace can help you in recognizing and rewarding the contribution of employees through public communication channels. Seeing other employees getting recognition for their creative and innovative ideas can motivate others as well and create a culture of innovation.

Adopt a digital workplace to encourage collaboration

When information and ideas are free-flowing within an organization, innovation is only a natural consequence. Adopting a robust digital workplace platform can encourage collaboration, allow you to discover a potentially game-changing innovative idea among thousands, and boost your organization’s digital transformation strategy.

 

Susan Leonard

Susan Leonard is the Associate Director of HR at Kissflow. Susan has close to 10 years of qualitative and enriching experience in HR. She has led the entire gamut of operations including talent acquisition, retention and company culture management; has been deeply involved in elevating processes to strengthen capabilities and ensure to meet current and future business needs. Connect with her via Linkedin or her blog.

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