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Using employee reward programs to drive innovation

When an innovative product hits the market, it often sees large amounts of interest that can boost brand awareness and drive sales for the company that offers it.

When an innovative product hits the market, it often sees large amounts of interest that can boost brand awareness and drive sales for the company that offers it. Businesses within the technology industry are known for their cutting-edge merchandise, but organizations in every industry need creative solutions to everyday problems.

Encouraging innovation is an important step for expanding into new markets and overcoming obstacles. Successfully adapting to changing conditions depends on having everyone within an organization working toward common goals. However, it can be difficult to instill a forward-thinking mindset in staff members.

The Washington Post reported that firms like Federal Realty are using employee reward programs to inspire their workers. Individuals who find innovative solutions to challenges are rewarded for their outside-the-box thinking. This has helped create a culture where staff members are continually seeking alternatives that could their companies save time or money.

Recognizing creative solutions highlights the contributions of everyone within an organization. For innovation to be successful, it is important that employees know their ideas will be considered and appreciated. Making all staff members eligible for rewards places an emphasis on ingenuity. The source noted that Federal Realty focuses more on the creativity of a solution rather than how well it performs. By rewarding the idea, companies are encouraging a supportive environment in which all potential innovation is valued.

Reward creativity to see results
This is an important part of improving innovation within an organization, according to the Harvard Business Review. Employees need to feel comfortable proposing new ideas, no matter how odd or underdeveloped. Recognizing that there is a learning process will keep imaginations flowing to generate a high volume of potential solutions. Firms can then develop the most promising proposals to remain on the cutting edge of their industries.

An emphasis on learning from past innovations will help companies create better-selling products. Not all new features are things that consumers want. On occasion, a creative idea will not work out because it is packaged wrong or because the audience doesn't understand its value. Forbes stated that businesses need to leverage their understanding of customers to deliver items that will sell.

"It's really about finding a way to leverage the value for the consumer and use connectivity to deliver that," Heather Andrus, chief innovation officer for Altitude, told the source. "And a lot of clients just think, 'if it's connected, people will love it.'"

Andrus noted that true innovation leads to products that are easy to use and fulfill a need. A deeper understanding of the audience or a potential problem will help companies find solutions that work and drive growth.

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