Almost every company is home to innovative and creative people whose talents remain key to many of its successes. Yet, whether or not creativity as a whole is given room to shine, or interwoven into company culture is highly dependent on the business in question. Several companies can easily become bogged down and privy to intense routines, procedures and expectations. As such, creativity can be severely hindered or at times eliminated all together.
Creative and innovative individuals are regarded for their high levels of engagement, happiness, and fresh business ideas. Thus, employers should be encouraging creativity through every avenue available, and anywhere possible. However, embracing the change in attitude required when implementing and pushing for creativity, and in turn the way an employer approaches the running of their business – can be highly challenging. Depending on the employer, the need for creative thinking and more innovation can be regarded as a threat to not only their ego, but the integrity of the business. Nevertheless, any business owner is aware that willingness to try out new approaches is imperative to any sort of business success, as well as being a cornerstone for maintaining employee morale.
Moreover, amongst the challenges faced by employers in implementing creative strategy, many employees face a challenge when trying to implement their own creativity. Especially considering that in the corporate world, creativity can often be seen as synonymous with lack of productivity and direction, and such is stifled – creating poor morale and high stress levels. Many creative thoughts are triggered unconsciously, and as such, an employee who is relaxed, given room for free thought, is a much more valuable one than an employee who is boxed in with rules and procedures and has no desire to question the tried and true practices of the company.
It is important that if you as an employer are looking to boost creativity in your workplace, you maintain an open mind are willing to make the necessary changes. Listed below are some of the ways in which you can increase creativity in your workplace…
- Hire diverse people
The diversity of your employees will drastically impact the overall creativity of your company. Different individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives offer valuable insight into the company, and can be a great source of fresh, innovative ideas as well as acting as valuable tools for overall improvement in company practices.
Maintaining a company culture that pertains to your vision may be a potential draw back for many employees in looking to hire diversely. However, by limiting your search to strict value sharing, character traits and personality types, you are placing unnecessary restrictions on the kind of talent you are able to bring into your workplace.
Make an effort to hire with diversity in mind and you will be surprised at how much your company benefits from the influx of different opinions, ideas and backgrounds.
- Change-up your environment
A change in environment, whether it be permanent or temporary, is a great quick fix for a lack of creativity. Take advantage of the days in which you are experiencing pleasant weather and utilize them to re-route your meetings and brainstorming sessions. Take those meetings you would otherwise have in-house, outside. Even the tiniest of changes such as switching up where you go to grab your morning coffee, or what you eat for lunch from time to time, can be enough of an alteration to kick your brain back into gear and help you see things from a new perspective.
- Consider adjusting office seating plans
Consult with your employees before embarking on any drastic seating changes, however, altering the seating layout of your office can be a welcome change for many. Perhaps introduce options for open seating plans, and areas where those who prefer to work alone can be free to do so. Giving your employees as much freedom as possible in this area of office-life can aid in their confidence and workplace satisfaction, and as such have positive effects on their creativity. By allowing your employees to interact with different members of their team daily, you are fostering knowledge sharing and encouraging collaboration. Both of which are essential factors in increasing creativity in your workplace.
- Strive to inspire
Whether it be through inspiration boards throughout the office, to weekly team brainstorming meetings, implementing inspiration as a strategy to boost creativity will do a lot of good for your business. Some offices even have a designated room, designed to both inspire and relax the mind of its employees. However, if you are limited on space or tight on budget, there are several other ways you can go about ensuring your workplace is one that is inspiring. Even email chains where employees can share interesting articles, bounce ideas off each other, and generally spread relevant, thought-provoking information is a great small way to ensure you are providing room for and inspiring creativity in your employees.
- Make innovation a part of the way you evaluate your employees
If you as an employer are serious about boosting your workplace creativity, it is important you are striving to do so every step of the way. Commitment to innovation is integral to a company’s success, and as such, if you truly want each of your employees to possess this quality to some degree, you must treat it with the same weight as you would any other trait you would expect from a potential/existing employee.
It is commonplace that several interviews and employee reviews are based on mundane, concrete factors that on some level provide valuable insight and feedback, but still fail to address several more abstract qualities that are hidden assets to your company as well as that employee’s performance. Although traits such as consistency, attention to detail and diligence are the markers of a universally well-regarded employee, they are not necessarily the only markers for a great one. While it is important to measure these traits, if you want to boost creativity in your company at every level, innovation and creative thought need to be considered at the same level and with the same intensity. Traits such as these can be near impossible to quantify, but nonetheless must be taken into consideration.