True Leadership Encourages Innovation In The Workforce

March 21, 2017 Rachel Illingworth

“People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.” – Elon Musk, founder of Tesla


Every successful company benefits by incorporating innovative work practices into their culture. One of the strongest examples of this inventive reasoning is Tesla, a well-known energy storage company, automaker, and solar panel manufacturer. When it comes to bringing in talent, Tesla cares less about candidates’ previous experiences and more about their ability to think outside the box. Tesla employees are also rewarded with bonuses and pay raises when they produce truly revolutionary ideas. With the help of this ingenious approach to Worker Experience (WX), Tesla has poised itself as one of the most important and iconic businesses in the world — despite not yet having a strong sales impact on the global economy.

In efforts to revitalize employee satisfaction in the workplace, it’s vital for managers and HR to merge WX with a positive and original work culture. As Michael Porter said, “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.” Here are a few suggestions to encourage true workplace innovation:

Build the story

Create the narrative of the culture you want for your workplace. Good leaders speak their needs and wants into existence, while employees work to bring that narrative to life. Workers are successful and engaged with a leader’s narrative if they overcommunicate the vision and embrace the culture that results from that vision. By speaking positively about the workplace to your co-workers and other leaders, you help your employees do bigger and better things.

Show by example

Managers, as workplace leaders, should work on their own personal growth by testing boundaries and learning new skills. Steer clear of taking shortcuts and playing favorites among employees who report to you. Become the type of leader you wish you had when you were starting out. Employees will subconsciously grasp this leadership queue, and the company will benefit directly and immediately.

Encourage leadership

Spending the time and resources to develop an employee leadership program can boost employee engagement. These types of programs work to positively enhance morale and animate dissatisfied employees. Take leadership cultivation even further by investing in leadership training for managers. Instilling leadership values in managers encourages mentorship and coaching among staff.

Create mentoring programs

Pairing new employees with senior staff and management adds a personal trust between employees. After a personal relationship is built between employees, they can address specific questions or issues that the new employee might not have asked otherwise. This added engagement in the WX strengthens a team environment, while also encouraging individual thinking.

Allow flexibility

In an OfficeTeam survey, 44 percent of today’s workers would prefer a flexible work schedule, but they fear a more balanced work-life will impact their careers negatively. In fact, as much as 51 percent of women have conceded that being a working parent has kept them from career success. When, in truth, flexible work schedules allow young mothers to simultaneously care for their children and pursue their professional goals. A more lenient work program has shown to boost self-esteem and vitality in the workforce.

Shake things up

Moving your employees around means less stagnation, more engagement, and an overall expertise of your business. One complaint of many employees is they feel stuck with no possibility for upward mobility. However, by broadening the employee’s perspective within the company, they will find challenge and individual growth. What could be viewed as failure can offer a lesson in an employee’s strengths and areas of improvement.

In addition to taking the above named steps, HR and managers will do well to remember that a recent survey discovered management has a much more positive perspective of the workplace than their employees. Keeping this in mind while tackling the steps outlined above will help set a positive tone. Additionally, not all innovation will work in your business. Managers should be willing to embrace and learn from the failures that stem from innovations in personnel.

Take innovation one step further …

Learn more about Worker Experience innovations at our 2017 Appirio Worker Experience Tour. Hear from industry experts and top business leaders, see current WX technology demos, and learn about the true ROI of investing in WX transformation, straight from the analysts at Forrester Research. Register now

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