More than one-third (35 percent) of the 1,400 chief financial officers surveyed in a recent Robert Half survey on organizational teamwork said a lack of new ideas is the greatest barrier to their company being more innovative. Approximately one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents cited excessive bureaucracy as the top creativity killer, while 20 percent blamed being bogged down with daily tasks or putting out fires.
Robert Half offers these six tips for inspiring innovation among work teams:
1. Engage the entire office.
Empowered employees tend to be more innovative because they have a bigger emotional stake in the office’s success. Cultivate a culture in which staff at all levels can easily share solutions for improving the business. Maintain an open-door policy and also encourage people to offer ideas in meetings, through an internal website or even a suggestion box.
2. Remove the red tape.
Examine internal processes to ensure company procedures aren’t generating unnecessary red tape. Employees become disillusioned when they put their time and energy into devising ingenious ideas only to wait forever for them to be approved and implemented.
3. Keep it collaborative.
A healthy level of competition between employees can spur innovation. But if a workplace becomes too competitive, staff members may be reluctant to speak up for fear that their suggestions will either be stolen or ridiculed. Create policies that support the open exchange of information and a team-first atmosphere.
4. Give’em a break.
Burnout does not beget brilliance. When employees are consistently overworked, they’re likely to have more “uh-oh” than “a-ha” moments.
5. Seek inspiration.
As a leader, you set the tone. You’ll have difficulty motivating staff to ignite creative sparks if you’re feeling uninspired yourself. A person in a positive mood has more innovative thoughts.
* This article was based on the research of Robert Half International, and published on BLR.com. To view the original article, please click here.