When someone gives them a new idea, many leaders follow up with a “but” statement. When an employee shares their thoughts, they respond with some variation:
“But we don’t have money.”
“But it can’t be done that way.”
“But we’ve always done it that way.”
The “but” mentality breeds a company and an ecosystem where ideas are kept quiet and employees look for land elsewhere where they can make their ideas come true.
Instead, it is up to the leaders to keep our point of view open. Try saying yes or consider a way more to ensure that we don’t chase failure-free companies, but instead companies that optimize growth. You must create a culture where people are free to fail because the knowledge gained from such failures is often invaluable.
Ideas can be big or small, but small improvements can make a big difference.
In an article, Harvard Business Review written What happened when a company’s leadership team welcomed ideas to improve the business. An employee suggested changing the layout of the company’s cafeteria so that healthier foods could be placed first and were featured prominently. Another said signs should be hung near elevators to encourage people to use the stairs.
Those minor changes reduced the company’s insurance payments by 20%. Small ideas, big results.
Leaders are often faced with the challenge of stimulating the creative minds of their employees. Even though they are receptive to new ideas, a lack of motivation may cause some employees to sit on them.
The important step is to create a company culture that dispels the myth that not everyone is creative.
Ideas of all sizes should be submitted, and a person’s resume, credentials or job title should never stop them from sharing their views. If there is something that needs to be changed, one should feel empowered to do their best to change it.
Based on my research, I have found four important qualities that creative employees share and that foster innovative workplaces.
1. willingness to take risks
Undoubtedly, some courage is needed to raise an idea that challenges company customs. But a company that talks about the right way to take risks will inculcate this willingness in its employees.
Research It shows that an important personality trait of entrepreneurs is a willingness to take risks, and that “the risk propensity of entrepreneurs is higher than that of managers.”
The important follow-up question is why does this difference exist? Managers need to adopt policies and strategies that deliver success like an entrepreneur, yet one group is willing to take the leap of faith that the other will not.
2. Thoughtfulness and Attention to Detail
To solve a problem, you must first recognize that it exists. Backtracking from issues can reduce blind spots and give everyone a chance to critically analyze something. Without attention to detail and concentration, many problems go unnoticed. Ideas don’t always need to address the “problem”. Rather, they can create efficiencies or new opportunities.
3. Willingness to challenge the status quo
Almost everyone who has entered the workforce has heard someone give advice. Wait a while before bothering to bother with Apple Cart or suggesting sweeping changes. The question you must answer is: Why? Conformity needs to be challenged. Old ideas can be refreshed with new ones. Just because something has been done the same way for years doesn’t mean it has to be done that way forever.
Employers often measure their employees’ job satisfaction with a series of questions. As Dr. Robert Vance Lets say, there are some common themes related to engagement. They include:
• Pride in the employer.
• Satisfaction with the employer.
• job satisfaction.
• Opportunity to do well in challenging assignments.
• Recognition and positive feedback for one’s contribution.
Perhaps Vance agrees that employees who feel empowered to challenge the status quo and systems they don’t like are most likely to express satisfaction in the job they had a role in shaping .
4. Specification about the purpose
Changing the way something is done without a set goal for improvement or efficiency leads to chaos – not well.
Knowledgeable leaders will talk with their team about reaching an end point, and they will allow other creative minds to carve out a way to get there. Most of the time, this will not be the clear path one has taken.
After all, fostering a workplace that thrives on everyone’s ideas requires trust. Trust is slowly earned, not given, and employees have to trust that their leaders are delegating responsibility because they believe in their expertise. Second guessing undermines the entire organization.
Researcher Michael F. Steiger writes, “While meaningful work … may be defined as the subjective experience that one’s job, work, or career is meaningful, provides synergy with one’s meaning in life, and benefits some greater good, “The meaning of work” pursues the “importance”, the beliefs, definitions and values that individuals and groups attach to work as a key element of human activity.”
An understanding of clear objectives describes the meaning, purpose and drive for employees. Greatness often comes from giving a tough answer to the question, “What is your reason?”
When you know why you are working hard towards a cause, your drive becomes the key element that helps one to move through the biggest challenges that come their way.
So ask yourself what would you do if you couldn’t fail. The creative answer lies within.