Unlocking the path to sustainable success

Three techniques to help you drive sustainability in your business.

In today’s ever-changing business world, being sustainable is crucial for long-term success.

Your business needs to adapt by coming up with innovative ideas to stay ahead. One powerful path for innovation is via tapping into the brilliant ideas of your own staff.

By regularly reviewing customer-focused key performance indicators (KPIs) and using those discussions as a platform for extracting ideas, you can foster rapid innovation within your business.

In this article, we will explore three proven techniques that will help you drive sustainability through staff innovation.

1. Create a culture of collaboration and idea-sharing

To tap into the wealth of creativity and innovation within your staff, it is crucial to foster a culture of collaboration and idea-sharing.

Encourage an environment where every team member feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique insights.

One effective way to accomplish this is by regularly reviewing customer focused KPIs and using them as a starting point for discussions.

One business owner recently gathered more than 60 ideas in the first week, one of those ideas increased revenue by 19 per cent within three months.

Imagine the secret ideas that could be sitting inside the heads of your staff right now! You could be missing out on a goldmine. Tap into the collective intelligence of your staff and drive innovation forward.

2. Implement an idea management process

To effectively extract and implement staff ideas, it is essential to establish a robust idea management method. This method can help streamline the process of collecting, evaluating, and implementing innovative suggestions.

By involving your staff in the entire ideation process, you enhance their sense of ownership whilst benefiting from their expertise and diverse perspectives.

Businesses that do this well see higher engagement, lower staff turnover, and improved efficiency.

3. Encourage experimentation and risk-taking

Innovation often requires stepping out of your comfort zone and taking calculated risks.

As a business owner, it is crucial to foster a culture that embraces experimentation and risk-taking. Encourage your employees to explore new ideas and challenge the status quo.

A robust results-based process will support flexibility whilst reducing risk. You can implement these process steps in your business:

  • Review customer focused KPIs to identify areas where your organisation can improve or innovate
  • Encourage employees to think creatively and propose solutions
  • Test ideas and provide feedback with actual results
  • Scale when results are positive. Iterate or cancel where results are not positive.

To support experimentation, ask for volunteers for small-scale tests. When your team test and iterate on their own ideas, you create a supportive environment that encourages more innovation.

Recognise and reward individuals for ideas rather than results, remember the best idea can fail if not executed properly.

Commercial cleaning businesses that drive sustainability through innovation are more likely to have long-term success.

All you need to create a sustainable innovation process in your business is:

  • Customer focused KPI
  • An idea management process
  • 10 minutes a day   

By leveraging the collective intelligence of your staff, you can unlock a wealth of innovative ideas, cultivate a continuous improvement culture, and create an environment of collaboration and innovation.

Brad Horan is a chartered accountant specialised in profit growth strategies for commercial cleaning businesses. Reach him at bhoran@lucrature.com.

This article first appeared in the July/August issue of INCLEAN magazine.

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