In an age of robots, the most appreciated distinguisher for companies today is innovation. Employees are looking at organizations that offer them an innovative workspace that allows experimentation and growth. Today the HR department is not just expected to support innovation but also make sure to drive it. Let's begin by understanding the difference between creativity and innovation. Creativity is the act of creating a new idea, concept or method. Whereas innovation demands using creativity to intensify the performance of a process, person, team or organization.
According to a survey, just 19 percent of college graduates claim to be interested in joining a big company, whereas 44 percent of survey participants have shown interest in joining a startup or a small organization. The reason being, more and more millennials enter the workforce, they associate large corporations with a rat-race environment and opt for startups that promise innovation. Thus it is no longer a choice but a need to make workplaces innovative to attract the best talent.
Here are some talent strategies to implement in your workplaces:
Commit to creating an innovative space
Since 'innovation' is seen as a trending topic in organizations, it just becomes an addition in the business book of values. Innovation is not something that can be done overnight. Make sure your employees know you are committed to creating a space that offers them growth. Every employee should be given the opportunity to share their ideas, and as an HR, you need to implement them effectively if required.
Plan individual growth
Work collaboratively on a plan that promises growth to new hires. Start by listing the top skills of an individual and making a plan that utilizes it to the fullest. Additionally, also list down areas the individual like to improve. This will give out the message that you're equally invested in every employee's growth and are working towards advancing their career.
Offer training programs
While everybody has ideas, not everyone can articulate it. In such circumstances, offering training sessions that teach lateral thinking, mind-mapping, brainstorming effectively etc. is always helpful. An initiative like this helps in skills building. Also, the ideas that are bounced off can be used for the betterment of the company.
Cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset
Entrepreneurship is often limited to startup founders and team leaders, but it is supposed to be cultivated in every employee. Introduce a boundary-less assignment internally that allows employees to look past organizational barriers. This gives every employee a chance to think like an entrepreneur and take initiatives not just stick to assigned duties.
Companies have already started actively investing in an innovative workspace. Cisco, for example, has created a space called "thingQbator" that allows employees to experiment with new technologies like AI/machine learning robotics, drones etc. Additionally, they can take hands-on workshops along with personalized training and guidance.
Today the responsibility of encouraging employees to pursue new avenues falls on the shoulders of HRs. An innovative workforce will create an innovative workplace, leading to the progress of companies in an era of cut-throat competition. As mentioned in a survey, "Innovation can be a process, product, or culture. The business has a responsibility to deliver on all three, but driving norms, behaviours and habits that create a breeding ground for innovation will likely build the highest return."