Many companies believe they have the best office culture around. Ping pong tables, beer and coffee on tap, and nap pods are great, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. To truly foster innovation in our company culture, we must go beyond the surface. Here’s 5 ways how:

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Hold Contests or Competitions. Incorporating competitions and contests into the workplace can help bring the office together. “Create goals that encourage group accomplishment rather than individual success to create an emphasis on team-building.” These contests could be anything from a company chili cookoff to having teams come up with a new product or service applicable to your business. The ideas can then go in front of a “Shark Tank" style board, with the best plan being implemented in the company and giving the winning group credit. This also helps to promote creativity and collaboration. - Chron.com 

Support Your People. One of the most important elements of a business is trust among your team, from the bottom to the top. Not only does the team need to support its leaders in their risks and decisions, but management needs to get behind its employees when they challenge a process or take a risk of their own. In turn it gives that person or group a sense of confidence and ownership in their work. At the end of the day, if you know your teammates at all levels have your back, nothing can stop you! - Modern Workforce by Everwise

Embrace Failure. Failure is a learning process. Learning and failure go hand in hand. Thomas Edison once said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Encouraging someone to pick themselves up after a failure instead of reacting negatively can enforce a healthier, more positive work environment. “Employees shouldn’t be disciplined after taking a risk that doesn’t work out but challenged to explain what they learned from the failure. After each test or implementation, teams can meet to discuss what went wrong and right, what they could have done better, and what insights they can use going forward.” Asking questions to understand why there was a failure and coming together to make changes to improve weak points is quintessential in being successful; that’s when innovation happens. - Modern Workforce by Everwise

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Take Time Off. We all know how easy it is to burn out at work. It’s necessary for your personal and business health to relax and reset. “We fail to use 662 million vacation days annually. The stockpile of unused vacation is creating a spike in worker burnout and even larger balance sheet liabilities that directly affect a company’s bottom line.” Encourage your team to travel and see new places. Exposure to different cultures can challenge our typical ways of thinking, which may lead to fresh ideas coming back to the office. To innovate, you must challenge yourself, but you and your team need time to refresh to do just that. - Project: Time Off  

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Never Stop Learning. Companies must invest in their employees through continuing education, training, and certifications. “Employee development is a way that you can keep your employees engaged at work...Interesting training programs, and future development events that are fun or challenging to look forward to...removes the plodding daily feel to a job.” Paying it forward and showing your employees that you are trusting and investing in them will encourage them to do the same for the company. This will lead to that team support that is so vital in the success of the company, ultimately leading to innovation. - Inc.  

Every company has a different culture, and no two are the same. Incorporating these methodologies into your business will lay a foundation of innovation. We’re excited to see where it will lead!

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