National Innovation Day


Posted on 22/01/19 in

How to create a culture of innovation every day in your workplace

The world evolved with innovation and February 16th marks the date of National Innovation Day. This day celebrates and encourages innovation and creativity in the workforce. Innovation comes in all forms, one being the rise of digital technology. Digital strategies have transformed the way the workforce operates; improving profitability, streamlining business processes, increasing employee productivity, accelerating speed to market and ultimately leveraging customer experiences and satisfaction into loyalty. But there’s much more to innovation than just the latest technology or fancy gadgets.

Why is it important for your business?

Innovation is constantly discussed, yet is often dismissed by decision makers when it comes to implemnting new ways to improve their businesses. Fostering an environment that promotes creativity will essentially open the doors to new ideas and better strategies for your business. And in a time of ever-increasing competition, as a business owner or decision maker it’s critical to make your work environment that little bit more special for your staff. All in all innovation will future-proof your business and ensure you’re well equipped for all those challenges lying ahead.

How do I apply innovation in my company?

Innovation can be many things based on where you work and what you want to achieve, but generally speaking it encourages you to do something a little differently – and therefore often in a better way. For example, building a diverse and open workplace with employees from different backgrounds and age groups can immensely benefit your overall business structure. When people from various backgrounds and age demographics work together towards the same goal, you open the opportunity to learn from different levels of expertise and knowledge.  Collaboration between these various demographics sparks conversation and enlightens ideas from different viewpoints, ultimately achieving better outcomes for the business at large. 
And this is where another important point comes into play, which is communication between those different team members. As a manager, you have to practice what you preach – if you want your employees to communicate well with you and between one another, then do the same. Encouraging an open-door-policy helps immensely, and signals the team that their workplace is open and transparent. 

You might want to consider to implement relevant digital applications that help your team manage their projects more efficiently, but also assist them in communicating better with each other. Keep reading for a list of free platforms that we like and suggest using.  

But even without setting up any of these tools, there’s other ways to advance communication within your business, such as placing importance on employee feedback and ideas or to gain insight into their pain points, challenges, and what matters to them the most. This could simply be achieved by creating a specific email address that employees can send their honest feedback to, or – if you want to keep it anonymous – sending out employee surveys asking them some specific questions.

All of these things might not seem big at first, but they encourage employees to share their honest feedback and think outside the box, which is key when trying to apply a more innovative approach in your business.

Why is this important for your customers?

Understanding your customers in such a competitive business world is more important than ever. Using digital transformation and building strategies that will provide a stronger customer experience is a necessity in order to sustain and maintain a successful business. 

Digital transformation has innovated many experiences for customers online, as it provides businesses the opportunity to present an online “face” as to their brand’s personality and purpose. But at the same time, it also means that customers are now expecting best practice experiences whenever they engage with a business. They want accurate information fast, and at a time that suits them. If you want to find out how your customers are engaging with your business online, then you might want to look into leveraging digital analytics (such as Google analytics), allowing you to better understand the right moment and place to engage with them when they have landed on your website. Understanding what your customers like and don’t like will improve their user experience significantly.

How can your business celebrate this day?

Make the people in your business feel like the geniuses. Many businesses on National Innovation Day set up a 24 hour event that incorporates setting up a workshop with you and your employees. This involves forming small teams to strategise and discuss ideas together to solve the problems or current challenges you have in your business. Each team presents their ideas at the end of the day, allowing your company as a whole to discuss and implement any new strategies that may assist with your overall business goals. 

Another suggestion to celebrate this day could be to offer training courses to staff or inviting experts in the industry to present an informal talk on a relevant topic to further their education and knowledge within their particular expertise. There’s probably someone in your professional or private network already who you could invite. Experts could be anyone from Communication Experts, Business Consultants, Career Coaches, or experts working in your specific industry (to name a few). This shows your employees that your business is encouraging of them to continually develop and is open to them learning more about other areas that may be of interest to them. This will ultimately make your staff feel like they are progressing their careers and learning new things. 

This day not only assists your business in creating strategies to innovate and improve your current challenges, but it creates an opportunity for everyone to bond as a team and build a workplace that encourages all staff members to continually think outside the box, communicate, collaborate and ultimately, establish new ideas for your business.  

Our top 3 innovation enablers for you to investigate in 2019

1.Platforms that enhance communication and project management

As discussed earlier, to encourage better collaboration between staff and management, there are different platforms that can help you reach this goal.  

Some platforms for you to try:
  • Slack- for better communication between teams
  • to plan bigger projects and great for larger teams
  • Trello– to help you stay on top of your and your team’s tasks
There are free options for most of them, which is great if you want to try before you buy.
​2. Marketing Automation 
The importance behind marketing automation allows for your business to overcome the limitation of time by automating some of the processes. Marketing automation platforms will allow your business to map out your entire customer journey and automatically contact your customers when necessary. 

For example, as a small business this might just be to ensure that all your customers get a “welcome email” straight away to acknowledge that they have just joined your database. For a larger business you might want to build more sophisticated user lifecycle campaigns with different touchpoints, which will ultimately help engage and retain your customers. That way, marketing automation will help streamline your customer experience, which will in turn improve profitability and heighten customer experiences and product satisfaction.  

At the same time, some marketing automation platforms can also work as your company’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, which allows you to store and manage all your customer and sales data in one place.

Options to look into: 
3. Local Area Marketing
We understand that sometimes it can be hard to reach all of your prospective customers, especially when there’s a lot of competitors trying to do the same. Targeted local area marketing can help you spread the word about your business to those people who are most likely to become your customers. Facebook, for example, is making it easier than ever to create adverts for prospects in your specific area, and you don’t need to be a marketer or graphic designer to do this, although it could pay out to engage an expert if you wanted to do this on a bigger scale.
Canva is a free platform that allows you to create imagery using templates and is a great place for you to start.

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