Innovation and Entrepreneurship: How Small Business Succeed in Today’s Business World
The most accomplished of companies today, such as Apple and Google, are also considered the most innovative. Their success has been achieved by introducing the most progressive and groundbreaking ideas and technology of the 21st century. The most successful companies stem from the most innovative companies, and the most innovative companies seem to stem from the best work environments. The more comfortable an employee is in their work environment, the more productive they will be; thus, more effort equals more thinking, more thinking equals more ideas, more ideas equal further thought and better ideas, some of which have evolved into the finest and most successful products and technology known to the world today.
So, how does one create the “best” work environment? Every work environment is different and you must find your own way of operating, but there are many common tips and tools, that can be integrated into all work environments.
The concept of mentoring has been a longstanding tradition in many fields of business for quite some time now; however, it must be taken to a further degree. CEO’s and top ranking executives within a company must mentor each other and their employees. Share wisdom, advice, and experiences with your co-workers and colleagues. Have open discussions, roundtables, advising sessions, both in group settings and privately. Be an image of inspiration by voicing your goals and aspirations for the company. Create a vision for your employees and share it with them so that they are inspired and motivated to complete their responsibilities and tasks better and with more conviction.
Executives should promote their staff to have personal relationships with one another, perhaps by suggesting a team lunch, team building off-site events, or social gatherings. Do not restrict co-worker relationships to exist only within a business setting. Encourage and allow your employees to have personal and friendly relationships with their co-workers both inside and outside of the office; this will make the work environment much more enjoyable for the employee, as they will have bonded with one another and will feel comfortable. At the same time, discourage unprofessional competition and tension within the workplace. Although some suggest competition increases productivity, encouraging friendliness and creating trust will allow employees to work together and create even better ideas– as they say, two brains are better than one. These tips don’t apply just to executives– All employees can be mentors to their peers and colleagues.
In the same respect that an executive should voice their goals, the boss should be aware of the aspirations of their employees. Listen to your staff, encourage them to write down goals, both personal and occupational, so that you are aware of what they want to achieve and can assist or guide them in the direction of achievement. Be a support system and help them to reach these goals through perseverance and hard-work. Discuss with them what they believe to be their strengths and weaknesses and be observant of what they do well. Knowing your employees wants, needs, strengths, and weaknesses individually will allow you to better place them with certain responsibilities, tasks, people, and groups, thus, allowing both them and your business to succeed and achieve more.
Find the appropriate job challenge for each of your staff members– find the balance between a job that is too easy and a challenge that is too difficult. When given the right amount of challenge, people tend to be more successful in completing it and become more confident and feel more positive. And when your staff member does something right, reward them and recognize their achievements. Being positive and reinforcing what they have done right will go a lot further than criticism. Erego, a good rule of thumb is: for every 1 negative comment there should be 5 positive ones before it. By listening to your employee and building that personable relationship, they will feel more comfortable in their job and strive to be more productive and hard-working– your time will be greatly appreciated and you will see results.
The space you work in is a vital step in creating and collaborating on successful ideas. The office should be bright, with lots of natural light, colorful, and creative. Buy comfortable and creative furniture that is inviting. Allow your business space to be personalized towards your goals, hang up pictures, posters, newspapers, and awards; play music if possible, and decorate to your companies taste– make it an enjoyable place to be in. Allow and encourage the employees to personalize their work area to their liking. Making the office space more comfortable and enjoyable will allow ideas to flow better and will create a highly productive work environment.
Highly encourage the people in your office to take breaks and get up every 30 minutes. Walking around for a few minutes, drinking some water or eating a snack, and stretching gets blood to flow better within the body and allows for a clearer and more productive thought process. Sitting for too long and for too many hours is stressful on one’s body and bad for their health. Encourage your employees to take at least 30 minutes a day for a lunch break or to go for a walk outside, that does not include business discussions– your body and brain will thank you.
Giving yourself some time away from the desk during a work day reduces stress and other health problems, such as poor circulation and joint problems. If your co-workers or employees seem too overwhelmed, invite them to join you for a walk outside to relive pressure, decompress, and provide an opportunity for them to discuss the source of their stress. A stress-reduced environment is valuable to the workplace, although often overlooked.
Keep business going during business hours only– try not to bombard your colleagues and staff with emails and telephone calls during non-work hours. During vacation weeks, allow yourself to disconnect and relax. Try to keep all business emails and contact to a minimum, whether you are on vacation or your employee is. Respecting their personal time is important and giving them time to relax will benefit the company in the long run.
Overall, flexibility is something to focus on. Be flexible with your staff and understanding that they have other responsibilities outside of their job that are just as important–marriage, kids, family, and flexibility is often met with repayment, reward, and respect. Find the healthy balance for yourself and help your employees find it as well.
Tell us what you think makes a company successful!