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Creating An Environment For Innovation In The Office

Aug 17, 2007
The environment of the office coupled with other crucial factors acts as a determining factor in the overall thinking process and eventual reactions of your workforce at any specified time. The overall environment plays a fundamental role in shaping the outcomes of events and can result in desirable circumstances or deviations from the goals if not paid appropriate attention.

A normal working individual spends at least eight to ten hours a day in the office, not including the travel time. They pass the rest of the time engaged in the other daily chores of life. If you add onto this the travel time, accounting for the increasing traffic in cities, and the time spent in dressing for the office or preparing for the next day, the time dedicated toward the office could increase to twelve to fifteen hours a day. Now consider a situation wherein you are spending the chunk of your day at a place you don't enjoy. The environment is stuffed and managing office politics is more crucial than any other part of the day's work. Such occurrences only have a negative impact and do not leave a place for a positive attitude towards the regular day to day work.

All organizations irrespective of size or nature of work performed face this problem in different forms. The environment tends to demoralize even the most creative workers. High performers subside without any impelling force to gear up and strive towards new avenues. The only option that remains is looking for a new job.

This challenge has been continually haunting Human Resource managers, who, considering the stiff competition, are always facing enormous problems in hiring the right candidate. Complemented to this are the huge training costs. What is the right solution?

The solution is to create an environment inducing work and prompting rapid innovations. An environment that allows people to experiment and effectively utilizess the requisite space and resources is the perfect remedy.

Employees must be internally motivated to research and perform the required extra duties in addition to their daily work requirements. Some methods to achieve such an open environment are listed below.

Create an effective communication channel. Make sure that you as a boss are accessible. The channel should be two ways.

Create an effective reward system. The worthy must be honored.

Do not be afraid of experiments. They are the road to innovations.

Promote a horizontal structure to the greatest extent possible instead of various layers.

Impart individuality. Recognition is an effective motivation tool.

Organize cultural activities.

Eliminate unhealthy competition among the team members or employees in the same department.

Various organizations are taking extreme steps like promoting relationships in the work place and creating small team open office configuration. However, the exact requirements can be decided only upon understanding the work environment and existing culture.
About the Author
David Gass is President of Business Credit Services, Inc. His company publishes a free weekly e-newsletter on Small Business Consulting at their web site http://www.smallbusinessconsulting.com
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