In a time when change is being forced on so many businesses around the world, it’s critical business owners and leaders do everything in their power to effectively use all their available resources.
Most leaders understand that their greatest resource is their employees, but often that resource isn’t allowed to reach its full potential. Now more than ever, leaders must find ways to build innovative momentum within their company by tapping into the wellspring of power their employees can offer.
So how do you begin to build a culture that fosters innovative thinking, dynamic problem solving, and growth? It starts with reframing the common fear of change into something exciting and positive.
Facing down change
Change is scary. Especially when it’s forced upon you, which makes it essential to frame it positively. Emphasize the opportunity for growth. Talk about ways it may improve your business. And yes, acknowledge that it’s uncomfortable and offer support and understanding to your employees who are struggling with it.
Embracing change makes space for innovation. It’s core to the definition of change itself. Consider the many roles of your employees. Have you’ve structured your company in a way that keeps people in place, or have you created a more fluid organization that allows for the flexibility and movement of your employees?
When you bring people onto your team, do you talk about how their roles might change, or do you simply give them their handbook and leave them to it?
If you allow your employees to get too comfortable doing the same thing over and over again, they will resist change. It makes sense, right? Change is difficult and takes work. If employees aren’t used to being asked to adjust to new ways of doing things, they’ll get frustrated and push back.
Our current climate offers leaders a unique opportunity to shift their organization towards a more flexible framework. Employees who would have resisted change are now going through forced change alongside millions of other people worldwide. Use this as an opportunity to re-train them to think more creatively. At a time when everyone is being faced with change, minds may be more open to finding new solutions.
You can also train your employees to expect change from the get-go. Get them excited about how their roles may develop and evolve and encourage them to think critically about how things might be improved. Create space for them to offer their input and consider it seriously.
That way, you have a team full of people who aren’t afraid to go full speed ahead with new initiatives, technologies, and systems. You’ll also start to attract employees who are big thinkers and who value a rich, ever-evolving office discourse. Sound like the people you want working for you?
You probably know that company culture comes from the top down. It isn’t enough just to expect your employees to come up with great new ideas. Leadership also needs to devote time and energy to thinking critically and looking for new solutions and opportunities for growth.
Without the motivation of leadership, the energy and momentum needed for innovation will dwindle. There’s no problem solidifying what you’ve already got—especially if it works. But it’s just as essential to keep your eye on the future. How will your company stand out from the crowd? What can you do to optimize your processes, expand your audience, and grow your business? What big new idea are you bringing to the table?
Consider how your actions and energy affects those who work for you. Create an example of how you would like your employees to approach their positions and the new challenges that are arising daily. You may be surprised at the brainpower you have at your disposal. You just need to create the right conditions for it to rise to the surface.
At Raffa Financial, we provide long-lasting benefits strategies to take care of your business and your employees. Located in Rockville, Maryland, we identify and manage complex employee benefits challenges for businesses all over the greater Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC area.
Photo by Gajus