Creativity is something most companies want to harness. You’ll see it on job advertisements, bullet points in meetings, and whispered around the water cooler. How can you pull creative ideas out of your employees and somehow increase productivity at the same time?
A good majority of us have probably been pulled into a meeting about this very issue. “We want creative solutions for our lack of creativity!” Alright, so how do you pull creativity out of people when U.S. productivity is seeing the lowest ratings in 35 years? Is it possible that your workers may be lacking motivation? But how is that possible with all the motivational posters hung on the walls! The truth is, a lot more goes into keeping people engaged in their work and it takes some effort to keep your employees’ minds churning out the creative juices. Here at The Methodology Blog, we are constantly on the lookout for more ways to create positive work environments that allow for creativity to blossom. A recent article on YourStory details this very issue, giving us some tips and ideas that we can use to finally conquer this creative/productive drought.
1. Encouraging a positive work environment
So this is a pretty broad tip to start with but it really is the most important one. You can talk all you want about how much freedom you give your employees to be truly imaginative but it doesn’t matter much if you don’t actually back up those claims. Allow your employees to fail, in fact, you should encourage failure so they can learn from their mistakes. Give them space and room to collaborate and brainstorm.
By surfacing those ideas within your organisation, you simultaneously make your employees feel valued, thereby encouraging them to indulge in new and innovative thinking throughout their tenure.
Creativity breeds in open and honest relationships!
2. Have a credit and reward system in place
You may be surprised to find out that most large organizations have reward systems for their employees. Not just a pat on the back, actual rewards like gift cards that reflect their hobbies or interests and paid training opportunities. This gives people a goal and something to work for, rather than just hoping for a raise or bonus at the beginning of the year. Holiday related competitions are a fun way to start this off, like pumpkin carving or ugliest Christmas sweater contests.
More often than not, an employee who has received credit for his/her work will be motivated to come up with impressive solutions the next time too.
Once they see the praise that comes from receiving credit for their ideas, the entire office will also be more likely to jump on board with ideas, too!
3. Spark your employees’ creativity by encouraging them to own and nurture their own ideas
Think about something that you don’t feel passionate about, like doing your laundry. You don’t go above and beyond for your dirty clothes, you do what you have to do to just get it done, right? The same idea applies here. You need to have the right work environment and employee acknowledgement in order for anyone to feel passionate about their work. Sometimes, all we really need is a little shove and some motivation to reignite our passion.
Regardless of their present contribution and position in the company, employees who participate in the creative process should be encouraged to take ownership of the idea, nurture it from the beginning and prepare for execution.
Seeing your idea implemented and flourishing is, in a way, its own reward!