Have you always wanted to find that spark of inspiration in your employees? Continue reading as this blog is just for you!
In a knowledge economy, every new idea or innovative thought becomes a significant source of value. However, beyond those sources of bottom-line value for revenue, there are indirect benefits of creative, inspired thinking at work: inspired employees draw meaning from their jobs, propelling them to seek ways to advocate for the company and move up through the ranks. This results, again, in savings: lower turnover saves in training costs and retains experience and skill in the organization.
So we agree that innovative thought and inspired creativity is a positive boon to the whole company. However, most of us cannot come up with a creative solution on-demand, just because one is needed. That is the nature of inspiration: while clearly prompted by your environment, your mindset, and your task at hand, inspiration is also fleeting and hard to pin down.
Jack London is known for his tongue-in-cheek quotation, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Despite the alarming metaphor, this quote does illustrate an essential quality in inspiration: no one can guarantee that they will feel inspired in a particular moment, but creating an inspiring environment does improve your chances. Here are some ways to promote an inspirational atmosphere at work and find the inspiration you seek.
Top 4 ways to promote inspiration at work
1. Increase employee engagement
When your employees are disengaged from their work, it doesn’t matter how inspirational your meetings and conversations are. One of the best ways to foster engagement is to provide tools that truly connect employees to needed resources. For example, IC Hub’s document management and digital workplace functions take away any excuses for staying on the sidelines at work, so make use of those tools as you begin the work to engage employees.
- In one-on-ones with potentially disengaged employees, talk through how to pinpoint the elements of their work that make them feel like they don’t make an impact or like they don’t need to contribute.
- Use the features of your intranet solution to make it clear that every employee has a significant impact on the outcome of the project; digital tracking can showcase just how much your employee’s work impacts others downstream.
- Make a plan with your employee that includes concrete, S.M.A.R.T. goals for re-engaging with their work.
2. Make space for employee collaboration
When employees have channels through which to communicate with each other freely, the potential for inspirational exchanges goes up wildly. Consider: if you feel like you must clog someone’s email inbox in order to have an opportunity to work with them, and you fear that they won’t see your message anyway, how motivated are you to start the conversation? Newly available tools help you foreground your company’s interest in allowing and promoting collaboration.
- De-silo your organization. Make as much information available as possible about who does what around the office and how to get in touch with them in the best possible way. Many employees default to talking to those they already know, and your company can push against this practice.
- Encourage the use of interoffice communication options, like announcement sections of your IC Hub or instant-chat forums where information can be compiled. When someone encounters a bug or an obstacle, checking the forums should become the first step before talking to someone since they are the written manifestation of all the efforts thus far on the project. When your employee can find an answer in minutes on a forum rather than hours later when the right co-worker returns to the office, everyone feels more energized and moves faster.
- Recognize the benefits of in-office networking events. If you organize social events anyway, make it clear that one of the outcomes for the company is that you know more names, faces, and work expertise by the end of the event. Not only does it make the event less cliquey, everyone leaves better connected.
3. Remove roadblocks to productivity
People are inspired, broadly, by feeling effective. Many other factors contribute, but when your employees feel like all the tools and processes in their purview are in place to create a good structure for them and their co-workers, they feel excited to come to work. On the flip side, there are certainly company procedures that actively prohibit employees from moving forward on projects, including unnecessary checkpoints and micro-managing. Your company can be known as the one that systematically paves the way for your inspired employees to move mountains.
- Ask the question, “what is standing in the way of you moving to the next step?” and listen carefully to the answers. Your employees know what their wishlist of obstacle-removal includes. Often, managers are empowered to make those things happen, and doing so wins a lot of goodwill.
- Use your company intranet to share files, process documents, and other necessary information with all the essential stakeholders so that no one wastes time looking around for the right item. Use your employee engagement software to get people up to speed through eLearning resources as fast as possible, with no dawdling while waiting on an available trainer.
- Ask all stakeholders to weigh in on what would make processes more efficient without making them less effective: make it clear that your company values both high-quality output and a throughout smooth process.
4. Empower innovative thinking
Ultimately, all of these items are most useful if you make it clear that your company wants inspired solutions, even if you cannot implement them all instantly. This means a lot of overt expressions of your commitment to inspiring your teams:
- Reward those whose innovative thinking saves the company money or delights customers.
- Commit to a serious conversation with those working toward innovation but haven’t gotten there yet – no dismissing outright of new ideas that haven’t yet found their perfect application.
- Listen to the small things that your employees say help to inspire them. That means natural light, artwork on the walls, comfortable chairs… whatever it takes to make the physical environment reflect your commitment to an inspiring workplace.
So, are you ready to give inspiration goals to the employees in your office through a modern intranet? Book a FREE DEMO with us now! Not quite ready for a demo? Then take our complimentary internal communications assessment to see how your efforts stack up!