By: Emily Lazration
In the world of business to get an edge over competitors, companies are required to constantly evolve their sales, marketing, hiring, and employee retention tactics to stay ahead. External pressures and threats from other companies push entrepreneurs to come up with new strategies and solutions to grow their businesses. There’s no way to succeed other than to innovate.
It’s essential to consistently measure results to understand your customers and try new ideas and solutions to meet their demands. Marketing strategies that were once effective to gain customers can get stale if you aren’t constantly looking at the results and making changes, while your competitors are coming up with new ideas, products, and solutions to grow their own businesses. What used to work before might not work now.
Constantly coming up with new ideas to attract customers and grow your business can be challenging, and the reality is that the inability to introduce new tactics can be detrimental to a business. According to a Gartner Financial Services Innovation Survey, internal politics and an organizational culture that does not welcome ideas from third parties, or cannot embrace new ideas, are detrimental to innovation.
Cleansing a toxic work culture and implementing a healthy one plays a critical role in innovation and business growth. In fact, it’s actually the driving force for change. Without a vibrant company culture, how can employees feel comfortable suggesting new ideas to help your business thrive?
One of the most pressing challenges in a business is employee retention. Aside from lost resources, having high turnover disrupts day-to-day operations. When someone resigns, you have to fill the vacant position, which means having to go through the recruitment and onboarding process all over again. But if you have a strong corporate culture, employees tend to stay. It’s an attractive aspect that will set you apart from your competitors. With a solid company culture, you will have happy employees and in turn, satisfied clients and customers.
Company culture is essential in business growth. But how can you establish and cultivate an environment that embraces new ideas and solutions?
One way to develop and promote a solid workplace culture is by embracing diversity, free from discrimination against gender, race, religion, or background. Inclusivity is not just a social issue; it has a huge impact in the corporate world as well. Embracing diversity enables businesses to have a team from all walks of life, with different views, ideas, and experiences. If you promote an environment where everybody is welcome to share his or her thoughts, your employees will be better prepared to work with other people and be more open to new ideas or solutions, thus paving the way for innovation. In fact, research from Deloitte found that inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% on team-based assignments.
Set a clear definition of what innovation is for your business
Innovation goes beyond “thinking outside the box.” As with any other endeavor, it’s essential to have clear goals and ensure that everybody understands what needs to be done to reach those goals. Streamline all processes and set metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will indicate success for teams.
Create a space for conversations
Many don’t feel comfortable sharing their ideas or feelings with other people, especially in a workplace setting. To make matters worse, some companies don’t involve their lower-level employees in business matters where they may have valuable input. If you embrace a culture of dialogue, you can bring all of your employees together to discuss ideas and opinions about the different aspects of the business. Inform them about the state of the company, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it’s performing. You may be surprised at the wealth of insights that you can get from your colleagues. By setting the stage for dialogue and making them feel that their ideas matter, they will be more likely to be proactive and collaborative, reinforcing a behavior towards innovation.
Revisit existing company policies
When you started the business, you surely had set some guidelines to ensure that the operations would run smoothly. But over time, these may no longer apply to the changing requirements of your business or industry. Open your doors to innovation by revisiting the guidelines you set in the first few years and see if they are still suitable for the business or actually hinder its growth. It may not be easy to change things that you’re used to, but challenging them will help you discover the true potential of your business.
The only one constant in this world is change. You may be tired of hearing it, but it’s true. If change is inevitable, then it’s imperative to adapt to it with new ideas, solutions, and strategies. Innovation ensures that you’re always on top of your game, constantly meeting the ever-changing demands of the industry and your clients or customers. And for that, you need a solid company culture. Keep these tips in mind to help you establish a work environment that supports innovation.
About the author
Emily Lazration is the Content Marketing Specialist at CoverWallet, a tech company that makes it easy for businesses to understand, buy and manage commercial insurance online.