What is workplace innovation and how to encourage it?

What is workplace innovation?

When a workplace is buzzing with inspired employees, that’s when new ideas, processes, and technologies come to life. When a workplace encourages a company culture of innovation, you can expect can expect higher productivity, more engaged employees, and better performance across the board. Organizations that foster creativity and adaptability help their employees achieve their best, most satisfying work, while staying agile in a changing business landscape.

Why is workplace innovation important?

Workplace innovation fights stagnation and keeps organizations moving forward. Embracing workplace innovation can yield the following benefits:

  • Competitive advantage: Innovative workplaces gain a competitive edge by consistently offering fresh solutions and new products.
  • Employee engagement: A creative focus boosts morale and job satisfaction, leading to increased employee retention and a virtuous cycle that attracts top talent.
  • Adaptability and improvement: Workplace innovation fosters a culture of continuous improvement, allowing swift adaptation to changing market conditions and customer needs.
  • Efficiency: Streamlined processes and innovative tools often result in improved operational efficiency and help reduce costs while increasing profitability.
  • Customer satisfaction: Companies that think more innovatively are more likely to come up with new solutions that meet — or even predict — customer demands. The result? Higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s clear that there are many benefits to workplace innovation, so let’s explore tangible steps for bringing more of it to your own organization.

Nine ways to encourage innovation in the workplace.

Fortunately, the building blocks of workplace innovation are available to any company willing to invest the effort. Here are nine ways to start fostering a culture of innovation:

1. Promote a culture of open communication.

Innovation happens when people share their unique perspectives and insights. Prioritize creating a workplace environment where individuals feel safe sharing ideas and feedback during brainstorming sessions. This fosters a sense of belonging, ownership, and safety, empowering employees to stretch their thinking.

2. Support cross-functional collaboration.

Collaboration across departments breaks down silos and promotes diverse thinking. Mixing up team members and forging new connections often leads to innovative solutions, as different viewpoints intersect to generate fresh ideas.

3. Provide time for creative thinking.

The most effective workplace thinking might not look like work at all. Actively encourage employees to dedicate time to creative thinking and idea generation, allowing them to step away from routine tasks to brainstorm and ideate.

4. Recognize and reward innovation.

Whether it’s a formal award or a quick word of praise, acknowledging innovative efforts motivates employees to continue thinking creatively. Make sure that bonuses, team recognition, and career advancement opportunities reflect and reinforce the value you place on innovation.

5. Invest in employee development.

Continuous learning and development opportunities enhance employees’ skills and encourage innovative thinking in their working lives. Invest in training programs, workshops, and resources that empower your team and demonstrate your commitment to innovation.

6. Create a comfortable work environment.

When’s the last time you had an exciting idea while staring at a beige cubicle wall? A comfortable and inspiring workspace can help stimulate innovative thinking. Design spaces that promote creativity with flexible layouts, ergonomic furniture, and inspiring decor.

7. Encourage risk-taking.

Create a safe environment for experimentation and new approaches. To reduce fear of failure, emphasize that calculated risks are part of the innovation process. Make sure your employees know that you’ll provide support if things don’t go as planned.

8. Lead by example.

Innovation starts at the top. Show what a commitment to innovation looks like through your own actions and decisions. When you lead by example, employees are more likely to recognize innovative thinking as a core value of the organization.

9. Embrace technology.

Employees can explore innovative solutions and unlock productivity when they’re supported by appropriate technology. Empower your employees with cutting-edge tools and technology that can help streamline processes and create new opportunities for innovation.

Three ways to drive continuous improvement with Claris.

Now, discover how Claris can enhance continuous workplace innovation at your organization.

1. Leverage a low-code platform.

With a low-code development platform in place, your team can create custom applications to respond immediately to changes in the business environment, while continuously scanning the horizon to make operational improvements.

When employees embrace workplace innovation, the first Claris app is just the start. One custom app sparks the next idea to support more users, transform more business processes, and generate even more efficiency gains. Find out about this Claris domino effect in our recent blog: One Claris app leads to another, and another.

2. Extend the use of the Claris platform.

The Claris platform is designed to build a reliable foundation that helps you stand apart from your competition. With low-risk tools, you can test, iterate, deploy, and scale new apps seamlessly, opening up continuous tech improvements for your organization.

Ensure you’re using the latest release. Using the latest technologies delivers substantial improvements in performance, security, and reliability. This further strengthens FileMaker’s professional-grade low code with even more extensibility, so you can add functionality to your custom apps and integrate them with anything. Discover how the features of the most recent FileMaker version can help you promote innovation in the workplace.

3. Get inspired by other developers in the Claris Community.

Ask Sam Riggleman, systems engineer with The Luke Commission, which version of Claris FileMaker he’s using, and he’ll reply with today’s date and time. His organization is a case study in continuous innovation for healthcare delivery in Eswatini, South Africa. That’s why he’s constantly editing the organization’s many custom apps, driven by daily feedback from his team. Sam also collaborates with developers within the Claris Community, posting questions and getting advice from community members and Claris Partners.

Learn how this Claris customer’s single app evolved into broad solutions that coordinate inventory management of supplies, advance critical care responsiveness, and support a world-recognized vaccination program.

Are you a Claris Community member? Join our community and interact with developers like Sam around the globe.

How Claris can help drive workplace innovation.

Whether you’re going full steam with workplace innovation or putting together an initial plan, Claris can help. Discover how.

Take control of workplace innovation on your own.

Feeling empowered to drive workplace innovation on your own but not sure where to begin? Get started by exploring resources to help you develop the best solution or combination of solutions for your organization’s needs. You can also visit the Claris Community and connect with thousands of developers from around the world who can help you on your journey toward continuous innovation in your workplace.

Get expert advice from a Claris Partner.

Claris has more than 1,400 expert partners worldwide available to provide custom app development, consulting, and training services to help scale your apps with confidence and drive your digital transformation. From introducing new workflow automation and integrations using Claris Connect to expanding Claris FileMaker solutions with ready-to-use add-ons and extensions, you get the support you need to fuel powerful, innovative solutions with the full use of the Claris platform.

Ready to ramp up your development momentum, jump on new opportunities, and enable more innovation more often? Find a trusted Claris Partner near you.