Back in the 90s, a major global telecom company needed a way to tell customers when they lost phone calls. Just like that, SMS was born. Soon after, it was available to the masses and before we knew it text messaging became the way people communicate with each other.

As evidenced by Vodafone’s implementation of SMS, innovation sprouts from the smallest seedlings. These seedlings are so easy to plant, as well – it just takes rethinking the way we do things. For employers, the innovation process has to start from the inside out.

Martin Migoya, CEO of Software giant Globant, recently published five ways companies can grow a culture of innovation inside the workplace. Take a look at what he’s come up with as you think about tending to your work culture.

1) Align Every Employee Toward the Same Purpose

Do you think any Duke basketball player is confused about what they’re playing for each season? At that level, it’s championship or bust. That singular purpose comes from the top-down. Employers can be their company’s Coach K by creating workplace atmospheres that align every worker to the same goals and empowers them to achieve those goals.

2) Give Autonomy

Employees are more likely to be engaged, active contributors to their company if they know their voice is being heard. Motivating workers to share their ideas and giving platforms for them to do so is a great way innovate your work environment ten-fold.

3) It’s “Innovative Culture”, Not “Innovative Department”

Autonomy is only as useful as it is inclusive. Fragmenting your talent so certain groups are responsible for generating certain ideas is counter-productive to workplace cohesion and employee engagement. If everyone has the same goals, why can’t they work to achieve them together? Every worker should be able to contribute to their company’s innovative culture.

4) Promote Innovation

Remember that innovation starts from the top-down. Company contests, multidisciplinary sessions and open brainstorming platforms are ways employers can plant seeds inside the workplace to see how the flowers of innovation bloom across their workforce.

5) Be Flexible

Innovation is not stagnant. Think about the strides we’ve made to build on the basic SMS technology we had in the late 90’s. Truly innovative companies embrace this process of evolution and create work environments that are willing and able to adapt to change.

How Innovative is Your Company?

It’s never too late to creative an innovative company culture. You can start now by improving your employee engagement with improved value communication. Sign up for the Free Edition of TotalRewards Builder to see how customized benefit programs and employee survey features can jumpstart innovation in your workplace.