“How innovative do you consider your employees?” That’s what a survey by Robert Half Management Resources asked financial executives across the country. In Dallas, 38 percent responded that their employees are very innovative. Only Miami and Philadelphia CFOs ranked their employees higher — 43 and 39 percent, respectively.
Nationwide responses are noticeably lower than the Dallas results. Thirty-one percent of CFOs said their employees are very innovative. And 59 percent said staff members are somewhat innovative but have room for improvement.
So what drives innovation in Dallas?
According to Stephanie Cook, district president for Robert Half, “The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s many Fortune 1000 companies attract top talent. And the diversity of industries stimulates interaction and thought leadership among business leaders.”
She also points out that workers relocate to Dallas to benefit from business growth and long-term stability, and that provides a strong pool of talent. This competitive environment promotes innovation that can continue growth and sustain business.
How do CFOs boost innovation? The Robert Half survey also asked all CFOs what they do to encourage innovation among their employees. Training was at the top of their list. Seventy-seven percent of CFOs provide additional training, with 62 percent providing interdepartmental cross-training within the company. In addition, 54 percent of CFOs said they offer rewards for successful new ideas.
Could your company use an innovative boost? Here are some tips for inspiring innovation among your teams and making it part of your company culture:
- Engage your team. Establish ways for staff at all levels to easily share their solutions for improving the business.
- Remove red tape. Review internal processes to make sure your employees’ creativity isn’t hindered by company procedures.
- Commit to training. Offer professional development opportunities across all levels of your team.
- Reward successful ideas. Challenge your professionals to develop new ideas and step away from their routine approach to solving problems.
- Work with external consultants. Bring in consultants who offer an outside perspective, which helps avoid internal politics (a that’s-the-way-it’s-always-been-done attitude) and opens up new ways of thinking about company procedures.
- Make time. Monitor your employees’ daily workloads to make sure they have time for creative thinking.
Tell us: What is your favorite tip for boosting innovation at work?