Creativity in the workplace is a great way to spark innovation, some of which will impact your company with greater efficiency and productivity. But as a leader in your company, you have to create a culture that’s supportive and welcoming of creative thinking. Google even goes so far as to allow employees to spend up to 20% of their time on a creative project of their own. That seems extreme, but many other companies are following their lead, hoping that creative thought will only serve to benefit them. Here’s how to encourage creativity in your workplace.
Build a diverse team
So many employers hire teams that are reflective of them or what they already have. But that’s only a way to continue your status quo. Instead, look for a variety of different skills, backgrounds, qualifications and strengths that will likely lead to healthy debate and variety of viewpoints.
Stress the importance of creativity
Preach about creativity and encourage your team to strive for it, asking questions and praising curiosity. Remove any limitations that might restrain their creative thinking and give them the chance to test and try new things. Place suggestion boxes around the workplace and appeal for original ways to solve particular problems.
Create a positive working environment
Encourage people to work together and share ideas. Keep your door open to anyone with new ideas. Promote experimentation and support failure. Teams with a growth mindset can try new things, knowing there is no such thing as failure—that disasters can yield valuable lessons that might not have otherwise been learned. You can give direction, but don’t micromanage. The best innovation requires a hands-off approach, but teams need a target to aim for.
Make a variety of teams
It might help to challenge the way your staff works. Encourage your employees to engage in short-term job swaps, shadowing other employees and change up the makeup of their teams. New perspectives can yield new adaptations and improvements.
In addition to responding enthusiastically to all ideas, reward those creative ideas that succeed. You might consider financial bonuses, gift cards or even public recognition on during a big meeting, on your company’s website or on social media. Rewards tell your employees that your company is serious about creativity and willing to invest in employees to make sure that innovation continues, and employees feel empowered to take risks and think outside the box.
As employees are brainstorming and generating exciting, innovative ideas, make sure you provide them the appropriate resources, personnel and materials so they can act on their ideas. Only then can they learn lessons, revise and try again until they land on something successful. For more tips on developing a company culture where creativity is encouraged, failure is supported and employee propositions are given serious regard, contact PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today.