Imagine that our innovative talent is a seed inside of us. For it to sprout, it needs the help of external factors, such an innovative culture and training. These extrinsic elements, which are the water and sunlight for our seed, help it to produce new leaves and flowers. But to be able to produce new seeds or fruit, our plant also needs other plants and their flowers as well as things like water, air, or bees to transport pollen from one flower to another. Just like plants, people need other people as well as an appropriate environment with aspects that favor the generation of innovation in order to bear fruit.

Imagine that our innovative talent is a seed inside of us. For it to sprout, it needs the help of external factors, such an innovative culture, and training. These extrinsic elements, which are the water and sunlight for our seed, help it to produce new leaves and flowers. But to be able to produce new seeds or fruit, our plant also needs other plants and their flowers as well as things like water, air, or bees to transport pollen from one flower to another. Just like plants, people need other people as well as an appropriate environment with aspects that favor the generation of innovation in order to bear fruit.

Motivating our employees to establish productive interpersonal connections brings a wide range of advantages for innovative talent. Let’s look at some of them.

The importance of social connections for the acceptance of new ideas

A study on the onboarding of new employees carried out by Google with researcher Spencer Harrison analyzed how new employees’ ideas are established in the organization through interpersonal relationships and how the ideas benefit from them. According to the study, good ideas that new employees bring won’t come to fruition unless they have the support of other employees who have been in the company for a longer time.

A good idea on its own is not productive without the context that could be provided by the experience of already-established workers.

The contribution of these more veteran workers serves as a guide when it comes to orienting the new employee on the company’s strategy. This way, good ideas that newly-arrived colleagues have are channeled towards something more concrete and defined. Therefore, the external knowledge that new employees provide is able to evolve and find a space within the organization.

The benefit of mixing visions

People have different backgrounds, ways of life, and knowledge. Connections between employees allow for the exchange of Know-how. This is especially important when it comes to new employees. Harrison’s study maintains that external knowledge that new employees bring with them is an enormous learning opportunity for current company employees. Broadening your vision, which may sometimes be tainted by the same way of doing things, favors innovation and allows for new talents to be recognized among both recently-arrived employees as well as those already on staff.

Positive feedback to motivate innovation

Receiving constructive feedback is another advantage of the interconnections among people that can promote and strengthen innovative talent. Remember that positive feedback offers emotional support to the innovator, which is necessary to overcome his or her fear of failure and, of course, to implement the ideas. Constructive feedback coming from work colleagues promotes innovation and positively impacts employees’ creativity.

Google, for example, uses feedback among colleagues to promote connections among them. This forms part of its annual performance review program. The company encourages its employees to support each other by giving and receiving comments through a real-time feedback tool that they have. This connection that is created among employees serves as a link, as emotional support, and as a source of innovation, taking advantage of and polishing the talent of each individual with the encouragement of his or her colleagues.

Recognition between equals as positive reinforcement for innovators

A technique that Google uses to motivate and strengthen its employees also has to do with the connections between professionals from different departments. Any colleague can nominate another (from another department) as the winner of a prize. If the directors of both departments accept it, the person nominated receives a cash prize as recognition as well as a corporate email in which everyone can participate in congratulating the colleague.

This socialization, recognition, and participation among all employees create an environment that motivates them to feel sure of themselves and able to take on risks when it comes to innovating and creating new ideas, without fear of reprisal or prejudice.

More diverse teams get better results

Motivating connections among employees beyond the immediate, obvious connections allows for work teams to be more diverse. Diverse teams are important for promoting the generation and dissemination of fresh ideas. In addition, studies have demonstrated that more diverse teams exceed the performance of teams in which members have a more similar mentality.

Conclusion: interpersonal relations generate innovative talent

An environment of psychological safety for the employee that makes them feel part of a team, facilitating the sharing of his or her opinions or ideas and even his or her doubts. The recognition, positive feedback, and exchange of visions among the people that make up an organization generate a language of trust that makes communication easy. With this communication, barriers are broken and a work road map that can be completed without limitations is created, exploring new paths and with the goal of developing a culture of innovation among the entire team.

Reflection question: Are you doing enough to promote interpersonal relations in your company?

Motivating our employees to establish productive interpersonal connections brings a wide range of advantages for innovative talent. Let’s look at some of them.

The importance of social connections for the acceptance of new ideas

A study on the onboarding of new employees carried out by Google with researcher Spencer Harrison analyzed how new employees’ ideas are established in the organization through interpersonal relationships and how the ideas benefit from them. According to the study, good ideas that new employees bring won’t come to fruition unless they have the support of other employees who have been in the company for a longer time.

A good idea on its own is not productive without the context that could be provided by the experience of already-established workers.

The contribution of these more veteran workers serves as a guide when it comes to orienting the new employee on the company’s strategy. This way, good ideas that newly-arrived colleagues have are channeled towards something more concrete and defined. Therefore, the external knowledge that new employees provide is able to evolve and find a space within the organization.

The benefit of mixing visions

People have different backgrounds, ways of life, and knowledge. Connections between employees allows for the exchange of Know-how. This is especially important when it comes to new employees. Harrison’s study maintains that external knowledge that new employees bring with them is an enormous learning opportunity for current company employees. Broadening your vision, which may sometimes be tainted by the same way of doing things, favors innovation and allows for new talents to be recognized among both recently-arrived employees as well as those already on staff.

Positive feedback to motivate innovation

Receiving constructive feedback is another advantage of the interconnections among people that can promote and strengthen innovative talent. Remember that positive feedback offers emotional support to the innovator, which is necessary to overcome his or her fear of failure and, of course, to implementing the ideas. Constructive feedback coming from work colleagues promotes innovation and positively impacts employees’ creativity.

Google, for example, uses feedback among colleagues to promote connections among them. This forms part of its annual performance review program. The company encourages its employees to support each other by giving and receiving comments through a real-time feedback tool that they have. This connection that is created among employees serves as a link, as emotional support, and as a source of innovation, taking advantage of and polishing the talent of each individual with the encouragement of his or her colleagues.

Recognition between equals as positive reinforcement for innovators

A technique that Google uses to motivate and strengthen its employees also has to do with the connections between professionals from different departments. Any colleague can nominate another (from another department) as the winner of a prize. If the directors of both departments accept it, the person nominated receives a cash prize as a recognition as well as a corporate email in which everyone can participate in congratulating the colleague.

This socialization, recognition, and participation among all employees creates an environment that motivates them to feel sure of themselves and able to take on risks when it comes to innovating and creating new ideas, without fear of reprisal or prejudice.

More diverse teams get better results

Motivating connections among employees beyond the immediate, obvious connections allows for work teams to be more diverse. Diverse teams are important for promoting the generation and dissemination of fresh ideas. In addition, studies have demonstrated that more diverse teams exceed the performance of teams in which members have a more similar mentality.

Conclusion: interpersonal relations generate innovative talent

An environment of psychological safety for the employee that makes them feel part of a team, facilitating the sharing of his or her opinions or ideas and even his or her doubts. The recognition, positive feedback, and exchange of visions among the people that make up an organization generate a language of trust that makes communication easy. With this communication, barriers are broken and a work road map that can be completed without limitations is created, exploring new paths and with the goal of developing a culture of innovation among the entire team.

Reflection question: Are you doing enough to promote interpersonal relations in your company?