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How to Encourage Your Employees to Take Smart Risks

If you want a creative, motivated employee workforce, you need to accept some smart risks. An employee's truly innovative idea, although it comes with risk, can spark your team to pursue a new adventure. Not all risks are created equal, of course. Encourage your team to take smart risks.

But evaluating risk isn't an exact science. So here are some ideas to encourage risk taking:

  • Ask for your employees’ input. Suggestion boxes are one way to get input. If you acknowledge those suggestions in a team meeting, employees realize that you’re taking their suggestions seriously. And you can build the trust necessary to encourage their input through other channels, such as one-on-one meetings.

  • Don’t be afraid to hire someone outspoken. Every company needs a person who can shake things up and offer a reality check. When you’re looking to hire a new employee, be sure to evaluate candidates on both their qualifications and their confidence levels.

  • Reward risk taking, no matter how it turns out. Even calculated risks fail some of the time. Let your staff know that you understand that not every risk yields success. And let them see by your words and actions that taking a smart risk won’t be reprimanded.

A smart risk is well thought out. Employees have looked at other options and genuinely believe that the risk is worth the gain. A not-so-smart risk, on the other hand, is taken without serious thought to the potential consequences.

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