It’s been said that Canada needs innovation to support its economic future. But how do we build innovation in today’s workforce? How do we train today’s workers to think different, to become lifelong learners, and to push for diverse people and perspectives within their workplaces?
This article will detail four approaches to accomplishing those goals based on expert recommendations.
1. Push for diversity in the recruitment process
How a company advertises, selects, interviews, and onboards their employees plays a large role in the company’s internal innovation.
Practice ‘blind hiring’ – a method which removes opportunities for bias by removing names from applications. Advertise your organization’s need for diversity and innovation in job postings, encouraging people of all backgrounds to apply to a position.
2. Support accessible entrepreneurship programs for youth
Youth need training in order to become successful innovators. They need encouragement, they need mentorship, and they need solid skills to work with.
The best way to provide these things is through accessible youth entrepreneurship programs. Experiences that nurture problem solving, leadership, and innovation skills also nurture a growth mindset. They set the conditions for lifelong learning. In order to give tomorrow’s workforce that head start, we need to give them accessible training programs.
3. Participate in open innovation challenges
Open innovation challenges offer another path to a more innovative workforce. Students and workers alike benefit from the opportunity to apply their knowledge and sharpen their problem-solving skills.
Open innovation challenges engage participants’ project management, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills to solve real-world challenges. With the workforce participating in these types of open innovation challenges, they can confidently boost their ability to solve problems and drive change.
4. Train for digital literacy skills
Digital literacy skills are essential in today’s job market. These skills range from the ability to use basic applications like Microsoft Word to more specialized tasks like video editing, coding, and graphic design.
For the average organization’s needs, candidates might not require a whole host of advanced digital skills, but they will need an everyday competency and understanding of digital tools, their uses, and how to use them.
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, jobs now require more technical skills, and training workers on digital skills is becoming a more and more sensible solution to skills gaps, innovation, and growth acceleration. Digital literacy training can be implemented into internal talent development programs for talent at all career stages.
Innovation in the workplace is integral and will continue to be so in the future. Workers and students entering the workforce should be prepared with innovation skills in order to future-proof their careers.