Encouraging innovation in your company may seem like an easy task, but it is actually one that requires a little thought and effort. Innovation is not born overnight, it requires a willingness and openness to creativity along with an environment that fosters collaboration. Below are a few little things that you can do as a business to encourage innovation.

Make it Easy for Employees to Share Their Ideas

Sometimes the only thing that is stifling a company’s creativity is the how difficult it is for employees to share their ideas. It may seem like all an employee has to do is speak up at a meeting or have a conversation with their boss in order to get their innovative idea across, but usually it’s not that easy.

Think about it, most meetings are directed one-way with the person leading spewing information at the attendees, and most leaders office doors are closed shut because they are in meetings themselves or are busy with other work. Make it easy for employees to share their ideas by leaving the door wide open and encouraging open communication and collaboration in meetings.

Have Regular Collaboration Meetings

Setting aside specific time in your employee’s’ work day to invest in collaboration can help encourage innovation in the office. Have regular collaboration meetings where employees are required to bring with them two or three new ideas and share with other employee. When you foster a safe and comfortable place where employees can go back and forth on ideas and thoughts, innovation occurs naturally.

Do What You Can to Minimize Stress

Stress is innovation’s number one enemy. When you minimize the stressful atmosphere of a workplace, you allow employees more freedom to think clearly and creatively. Minimizing stress can be anything from putting your employees’ well being first, to creating spaces in your office where employees can take a break and get away from the stress of deadlines.

Rearrange Your Office Environment

Something as simple as rearranging the way your office space is laid out can do wonders for encouraging innovation amongst your employees. Consider moving your office furniture in an arrangement that is more collaborative as opposed to separated off like in cubicles. Designing the version of an open plan office that works for you, your industry, and your employees can help them collaborate and innovate new and exciting ideas.

Give Employees a Reason to Care

Innovating ideas takes time and effort, and most employees aren’t going to put forth extra effort at their jobs unless they care about them. Giving your employees a reason to care about their work and the company as a whole can give them incentive to create inspiring ideas that can further both their careers and the business. You can do this by reiterating your company’s mission and letting your employees know they’re a valuable asset to the team.

Provide Your Employees with Time and Space

One of the most important things you can do when it comes to encouraging innovation is giving your employees the time and space to do the actual innovating. This means building creative and inspiring spaces in your office that accommodate the various stages of innovation. From focus spaces, to collaboration and technology equipped rooms, creative spaces can help inspire employees. It’s also important to give employees the time they need in the day to collaborate and innovate freely without the pressure of a deadline or time limit.

It’s important to note that innovation cannot be forced to happen, but that you can create an office environment and atmosphere that supports and fosters innovation. With these little things you can do around the office, encouraging innovation doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.

For easy ways you can create an office with employees at the forefront, check out our blog post “Easy Ways to Design for Well Being with Office Furniture Little Rock.”