How to Encourage Employee Creativity
Every workplace stands to benefit from the creativity of their employees. After all, a workplace is only as good as its people, and it’s creative workers that make all of the difference for a company. It is the unfortunate reality that many companies inadvertently stifle the creativity of their employees, which in turn creates an environment devoid of innovative possibilities. By taking a new approach within your workplace, you can foster the right space for your employees to engage the parts of their mind that will lead to their ability to unlock their creative process.
Build diverse teams
If everyone on a particular team has the exact same qualifications and background, they’ll most likely see things the same way. Having similar experiences makes people more inclined to see things through one lens. When setting up teams for a project, make sure your teams are as diverse as possible. Everyone will be able to contribute their own perspective, encouraging innovation within the project. When minds come together, you want them all to be thinking something different.
Encourage the spirit of positivity
If your employees perceive your workplace as teeming with negative energy, it’s no wonder they’re walking around with their heads down and going through the motions. High pressure, high stress, and frequent breakdowns of communication will leave a sour taste in your employees’ mouths. Check in with everyone once in a while. Keep an open door for employees to voice their comments and concerns. A welcoming environment is a must.
Give your employees the opportunity to speak their minds
Having regular meetings is a great way to keep your lines of communication alive. During meetings, you should always open the floor for ideas and suggestions. Some employees don’t feel comfortable voicing their ideas in front of others, and you need to have a plan in place to afford those employees the opportunity to be heard. Suggestion boxes are one of the oldest tricks in the book, and every office can use one.
Provide adequate encouragement
Your employees may already be innately creative individuals, but if you aren’t letting them know that you actually want them to express it, they’re more likely to keep it to themselves. Make sure they know you want to hear their ideas. Encourage them to take risks and try new approaches. Listen to their suggestions, even if they involve major overhauls that may not be feasible at the moment. When an issue arises, outright ask your employees for creative solutions.
Incentivize creativity of all kinds
Not every creative idea is a good one. You won’t be able to implement everything your employees suggest, and many ideas may potentially contradict each other. When all is said and done, your main aim should be to make sure everyone feels equally valued, whether or not their ideas actually come to fruition. It could be as simple as holding a small celebration for times when everyone’s combined creativity helps save the day, or small spiffs you hand out to innovative minds.
You can’t expect everyone to immediately become the Nikola Tesla of your workplace as soon as you start encouraging creativity. It may be a slow building process. People will learn to think differently, and they’ll eventually grow more comfortable with their innovative voice. The sooner you open the doors to creativity, the sooner your employees’ creativity will blossom.
Kelly Smith is a technology addict and an experienced writer at CourseFinder. She combines her huge interest in new tech solutions and leadership trends with her love for writing.