Many employers are struggling to increase their ranks with skilled, productive people. If your
business has lost good people in the return to work, you may be reconsidering your policies.
Increasing flexibility and intellectual safety can bring out the best in your current employees.
Increase Flexibility in Leadership
It's been a nervous few years; many citizens are asking some tough questions about their future
plans and may be looking for more flexible employment. Rigid employers will lose people.
Send your leadership team members to staffing conferences that can provide your business
with options for bringing on the best talent. Do whatever it takes to open up the minds of your
leadership team with regard to
● work location
● required hours
● technical tools
Perhaps you need new software tools. Maybe you need a stronger security practice. There's
nothing wrong with finding a lack and updating it to make your client data safer. Limiting
employee access as a security choice is not effective.
Make Room For Mistakes
Within your office, create brain splash areas. Instead of having a leader put a big problem on a
whiteboard and asking people to brainstorm, put small tasks that should be simpler (but for
some reason aren't) on the board and encourage folks to toss ideas at the issue. Storms build
up and unleash. A splash of ideas is a much gentler idea.
Encouraging folks to splash ideas at a smaller issue also leaves room for ideas that won't work
in this instance. Innovation means trying new things, and not all new things succeed. Standing
by a lake and tossing your line into the water doesn't always mean you're going to catch a fish,
but it doesn't mean that the action was a mistake.
Loop In All Employees
You have employees with full lives outside the workplace and skills they've built that are not
related to their degree or certification. You may have an employee who has many grandchildren
and manages chaos well. If your artistic department produces great results but their workspace
is a disaster, ask someone with strong chaos skills to help address the issue. They may
recommend you put up movable screens so the art department can shield their space from view
and keep producing great work.
Do carefully screen all the opinions you receive for the ones that you should act on. In the
example above, someone from outside may have a problem with a messy artistic department.
Your best bet may be to encourage the unhappy person to focus on results and understand that
mess sometimes comes with creativity.
Create Safe Intellectual Spaces
When you're looking for innovative ideas, be ready to take them on paper, in person, or digitally.
Not everyone with a great idea is interested in speaking up, especially if they're a bit lower on
the hierarchical totem pole.
Carefully watch what happens in idea meetings or brain splashes. If you see anyone from the
upper ranks interrupting folks, whispering to a neighbor, or being in any other way disrespectful,
ask them to change their behavior and if they don't, don't invite them.
Study Global Trends
We live in a work-from-anywhere, sell-to-everybody world. If your business does not have the
option for remote work for digitally talented employees, you are going to lose access to some
very creative and innovative people. Starting with small work parcels can be a good start.
If you have a new product or service that needs a banner and web page intro, farm the work out
on UpWork or Fiverr. You may get several previews that don't work, but if you can find one or two results that actually work with your style and webpage, you can build a connection with a
freelancer. Unlike hourly or salaried employees, freelancers work in short bursts of creativity
because their time is not spoken for. Go back to them with the next project and grow the
relationship. If your business is located in the United States and your freelancer is in India, you
may gain information on the latest and greatest trends, which will increase your marketability.
Creative ideas may abound from within your ranks. Training to generate innovation can be
extremely helpful. Freelancers can bring in a fresh perspective. Allow for mistakes and create safe, creative spaces.