By | Louisa Garcia Moreno
Cultivating innovation in the workplace is a big task —it requires different pieces coming together to support an entire cultural shift within an organization and investing in the best L&D practices to guide your efforts is the surest way to success.
According to their 2019 L&D Report, which features exclusive interviews with L&D professionals at Bayer, EY, Bonobos, and Wyndham,findcourses.com states that learning and innovation connect and executives who were highly engaged in corporate learning were three times more likely to say their company had a culture of innovation.
Read on to find out the most common practices of top companies leading the innovation charge and how you can create a culture of innovation in your own workplace bydevelopingtrusting and idea-sharing environments where employees can take risks and personalize their learning.
Innovation can only happen when employees feel free to take risks without repercussions and a first step to creating this safe space is by focusing on the development of employees’ individual strengths and prioritizing relationship-building and trust over learning hard skills.
Along with forming a trusting environment where innovation can thrive, it’s important to encourage idea-sharing between colleagues on all levels of the organization.
Developing corporate learning programs that not only allow employees to cultivate their individual strengths,but also help them build and strengthentheir relationships with their coworkers will aid your efforts in building a supportive and communicative workplace culture where innovation can flourish.
Keep your L&D function agile
An agile L&D program is the key to keeping ideas fresh and innovation pumping into the lifeforce of your organization, especiallywhen you have a large multinational workforce.
Overly strict or rigid L&D programs lessen an organization’s ability to adapt and not being able to adjust to the continuous changes of the corporate world today is the quickest way to kill a business strategy and thwart innovation.
Teams must be built upon a flexible framework and remain nimble, adjusting to constant organizational shifts without compromising the speed or quality of talent development strategies. This also means that if innovation is the goal, your program needs to be tailored to the individualized present (and future) needs of your employees.
Invest in leadership
L&D departments face many challenges; finite resources are a business reality and having good leaders to pick the best learning initiatives that are effectively aligned to business goals and promote innovation in the workplace is your greatest asset.
In addition, it’s important to have the support of upper management to be able to deliver a L&D program successfully in the long term, so having leaders who are forward-thinking will make it easier to create flexible L&D structures that adapt to changes in the market and are personalized to employees’ needs and foment trust and idea-sharing on all levels are the rule.
Experiment and re-calibrate
Risk-taking is the foundation of the success of some of the most innovative companies today and it’s important to think outside the box and perform constant re-calibration practices based on the results you obtain from your L&D initiatives.
Through surveys, focus groups, or other evaluations, it’s crucial to determine which programs work, which can be optimized, and which should be scrapped. Even more critical, however, is cultivating a working environment where employees can question current processes without repercussion.
Louisa Garcia Moreno is a content editor for the education and professional development portals findcourses.com and educations.com. Based in Stockholm, she has written articles on a wide range of subjects about trends within education and professional training, such as L&D, cultures of innovation and leadership.