What role does engagement play in innovation?

Innovation is one of the most important areas of focus for any business. It elevates a company above competitors; it's often why staff choose to work at any given company, and it can be a deciding factor in customer purchasing decisions, too.

Like nearly everything that's useful, however, innovation is difficult to achieve, and many companies will likely be confused as to how they can become truly innovative. According to new studies, the answer may lie with employee engagement.

Engagement and innovation

The Queensland Government noted that new ideas are often critical to business success, and those that fail to innovate could risk losing ground to competitors or points of difference. It's easy to see why this should be given appropriate attention.

A survey from IX Research sought to discover the role of engagement when it came to innovation, and found that one of the components of an actively managed innovation program was employee participation.

What's more, the companies that take innovation seriously established formal innovation programs in order to organise the process, something that improved corporate performance.

Engaged employees are the key to innovation.

Engaged employees are the key to innovation.

Engage for Success also released a report, finding that engaged employees work harder, which in turn means they look for new ways to add value. In the end, engaged employees are the ones finding direct opportunities to innovate.

LivePerson discovered similar findings, but noted that it was more the relationships between staff that played the most important role. With deeper connections between workers, it was more likely that that a company would see an increase in the level of engagement.

While engagement may seem difficult to focus on at first, comprehensive training programs can help.

Boosting engagement

Engagement isn't easy to achieve, however, and according to Bersin & Associates, US companies spend around $720 million per year on employee engagement initiatives. Of course, given the benefits of innovation, it's easy to see why these companies are pouring funding into the area.

Engagement can also be boosted through greater staff training – for example allowing employees to upskill with an ITIL certification. Education helps to show employees that they're valued within the business – and worth investing in.

Education is one of the best ways to get started – and it's simple to do so. Get in touch with ALC Training today if you'd like to find out where courses are being held.