Building a Culture of Shared Ideas
When it comes to fostering creativity and innovation, building a culture of shared ideas is essential. It encourages employees to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, collaborating with each other, and contributing to the overall growth and success of your organization or community. In turn, employees who feel valued and listened to are generally more engaged and happier in their roles.
Why is Building a Culture of Shared Ideas Important?
The correlating relationship between an employee feeling their voice is heard and their engagement level cannot be ignored. When they feel heard, 71% of employees feel more confident to share ideas and feedback in the future, 74% feel more effective at their job, and 74% feel more engaged at work.
Unfortunately, 86% of employees feel people at their workplace are not heard fairly or equally. More often than not, these organizations tend to suffer from low moral, wavering engagement and high turnover. The good news is that a culture shift is entirely possible!
How to Build a Culture of Shared Ideas
Changing an organization’s culture to embrace shared ideas begins with strengthening open communication. Encourage team members to express their opinions and ideas openly without fear of judgment. Make it clear that all ideas are welcome and that there are no wrong answers. Lead by example and model the behavior you want to see. Share your own ideas openly and encourage feedback from others.
Creating a Collaborative Workplace
By fostering a collaborative environment, organizations encourage team members to work together and share ideas with each other. This helps generate new ideas and facilitate the development of more comprehensive solutions. However, to truly build a collaborative work environment, organizations must address psychological safety as well as inclusion.
On a recent podcast, James Schofield, a Partner at Roman 3 Solutions, defined psychological safety as the idea that people are allowed to be vulnerable at work. Do your people feel like they are able to speak up when they are having a problem? Is there a freedom to fail? Creating a collaborative workspace means seeking ways to create an environment where people feel comfortable enough to own up to mistakes or ask for the things they actually need.
Diversity and inclusion surveys are an excellent way to foster a culture that supports individuality and a fresh perspective. However, if employees don’t feel like they can share openly or give feedback, it is very difficult to learn from them. In other worlds, without psychological safety, it is difficult to trust the data you get back because people likely aren’t being transparent.
Make people feel like they belong at work for their true and authentic selves, both for their abilities and their perspectives. You simply cannot create engaged employees or a culture of shared ideas if people feel like they don’t belong or can’t be themselves.
Creativity comes more easily to some than others, and promoting it can mean different things to different employees. However, benefits include increased productivity, innovation, and employee satisfaction, making it a worthwhile effort in the quest to build a culture of shared ideas. For starters, create a work environment that inspires creativity. This could be anything from a bright workspace with inspiring artwork to comfortable seating or an in-house coffee bar that promotes collaboration.
Continuously embrace diversity. A diverse team doesn’t just fill the “D” in DEI. It truly brings different perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to innovative solutions. Build DEI into your organization’s culture, and ensure that whoever is in charge of driving it has a seat at the C-suite table, ensuring they can properly address challenges and effect change.
Offer employees access to regular training and development opportunities that allow them to learn new skills and explore new areas, sparking innovation. Also ensure your employees have a degree of autonomy over their work and decision-making process. This can lead to a sense of ownership and responsibility, inspiring creativity in return.
Providing ample opportunities for brainstorming is critical to sharing ideas. Set aside time for brainstorming sessions and encourage everyone to participate. This can be an excellent way to generate new ideas and solutions, while talking through potential problems. Encourage them to think outside the box and explore new ideas.
Be sure to embrace technology to facilitate these group conversations. Collaboration tools such as online whiteboards, instant messaging, and video conferencing are key to prompting brainstorming, tracking input and creating action items, especially across different geographic locales.
Then, celebrate the resulting successes! Recognizing and celebrating successful ideas and implementations that come from team brainstorming sessions will encourage team members to continue sharing their ideas and collaborating with each other. Remember, we’re all human as humans we all love not only an opportunity to be heard, but an opportunity to celebrate the good that comes from contributing to a shared goal. This can motivate employees to continue being creative and innovative together!
Give Employees a Voice
By being intentional in your approach, it’s possible to create a culture of shared ideas where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts, collaborating with each other, and contributing to the growth and success of your organization or community. This means building psychological safety and inclusion into the fabric of your culture, and promoting creativity in a variety of ways to inspire individuals with varying backgrounds and motives. Making time for team brainstorming is a must for sharing ideas that lead to successful outcomes everyone can be proud of.
People Element offers a variety of solutions to help organizations build a culture of shared ideas. Diversity and Inclusion Surveys help leadership to define what diversity and inclusion means to the organization and what’s expected of all employees. They also inspire people to be themselves while building deeper connections and embracing fresh perspectives. Engagement Surveys are also an excellent way to get a pulse on the current climate in your organization, measuring employee satisfaction and gathering vital feedback that leads to improved engagement and better collaboration. Deploying them helps create a workplace culture where people feel safe to voice their ideas and opinions.