A company must be able to retain champions or star employees and treat them differently to take advantage of their innovative capabilities.

Let us start by understanding what innovation is.

Globally incubate standards compliant channels before scalable benefits. Quickly disseminate superior deliverables whereas web-enabled applications.

Innovation means better processes, services, ideas or products. It could also mean value addition to existing services, products, backed by improved technological solutions.

The next question is why and for whom are we being innovative? The consumer is always the beneficiary of innovation.

In many world class companies, employees are now viewed from a different perspective in order for firms to remain ahead of the game.

Retain Champions or Star Employees

A company must be able to retain champions or star employees and treat them differently to take advantage of their innovative capabilities.

To ensure this happens, they must invest in technology which means retraining employees in new processes.

New technologies bring a lot of resistance because you are disturbing the comfort zone of many employees.

One must, therefore, consult the employees especially those who deal with customers directly and make them embrace the changes and then stick to these new changes that brings innovation.

Happy customers means more business and a win- win for all.

Therefore, ask employees to recommend changes, implement and ask for feedback to avoid going down a wrong direction.

Having a good top to bottom management in a company that supports changes is also important. One that is able to effectively understand the need of the day.

The company culture and behaviours is crucial as this normally is what chokes employee morale, slows down operations and most importantly kills new innovations.

Communication is also important. Every manager including the CEO’s job is to ensure the right ideas and thought process that benefit the customer and brings value are executed in the fastest way possible.

Therefore, every company must learn how to retain qualified, inventive, smart working, dedicated employees, nurture them and allow them to be creative.

There are few companies in Kenya which allow employees to take time off work and to think as they must focus on the real job they have been hired to do and in their spare time think of innovation.

Most managers are under pressure to produce immediate results and look at the short-term gains and are stuck with following procedure for continuous improvement in their daily work.

Most of the continuous improvement methods are focused on improving production systems rather than meet customers’ needs.

This has moulded employees to stick to laid out systems rather than think of new ways that encourage experimentation with no immediate result.

Companies do not have forums which allow for discussion and experimentation as the business of daily routine takes precedence.

Companies should also have a conducive environment that encourages employees to not only work efficiently, but be recognised, nurtured and guided to produce results that add value to the company overall with the customer in mind all the time.

Mr Taibjee is a Customer Service Consultant in Nairobi.

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