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Four Ways Incentives Promote Innovation

Innovation leads to new growth avenues and creative strategies

The rapid evolution of communication, technology and other processes have given way to a mantra in business: Innovation. Innovation leads to rethinking existing products, the savviest services, and the happiest customers.




Many CEOs, owners and managers will agree innovation leads to engaged employees, but how to achieve it? Exorbitant salaries? Unlimited time off? Benefits? Pool tables and draft beer in the break room?


One low cost option to promote innovation is through the use of incentives.


Here are four ways using incentives can promote innovation:


1. Motivate behaviors that promote innovation


Using incentives is one way to motivate specific behaviors. In terms of innovation, organizations can begin to reward behaviors that foster creativity and innovation by identifying measures that lead to these behaviors. 


A great example of a company that does this is Google. Their famed “20 percent time” was implemented to encourage employees to spend about 20% of their time experimenting and pursuing their own ideas outside of immediate projects. This led to the creation of some of the most profitable products that Google has ever created.

2. Change organizational culture


Align business strategies with behaviors that promote innovation. It’s not enough to just say and hope your organization would like to be innovative and promote that among your employees; but your company culture must reflect that same view.


Ensure that this approach is part of your mission statement and core values. Align objectives and projects that will promote this type of behavior to make sure everyone within your organization is on the same page.


3. Create an environment where innovation thrives


This doesn’t necessarily mean one giant room filled with desks and no cubicles, and it doesn’t mean rows and rows of cubicles either. What it means is, use events, team meetings, suggestion programs, and other similar activities that encourage peer-to-peer and inter-department collaboration.


4. Use a mix of team incentives and individual incentives


Motivate the group AND the individual. Using a mix of incentives to motivate work groups and individuals members of your organization has two major advantages:


1. Encouraging collaboration
2. Ensuring accountability


Managers dread the team where one or two people carry the weight while everyone just rides their coattails. However, working in groups is one of the best ways to bounce ideas around and come up with new and innovative products and services. By mixing incentive types this helps to motivate behaviors that will pull from the best of both worlds. 


How YOU Can Promote Innovation


By implementing these strategies you can begin to start incentivizing to promote innovation with an On The Spot or Strategic Recognition program. However, it takes more than incentives to encourage behavior. Building out a comprehensive improvement strategy that is supported by incentives is essential to make sure that program supports the organizational objectives and that those who will be participating in the program realize the benefits of it.


As an employee engagement and sales growth company, Energy 2 Engage offers reward and recognition programs that can be customized to reward employees, sales channel partners, and business partners with rewards program, including a rewards platform and VISA Digital Debit Card branded for your company.

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