Five Ways to Inspire Creativity in Your Employees
30th July 2019
Creativity can often be underestimated or disregarded by large corporations, who believe being creative should be left to the artists, writers or musicians of the world.
But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Creativity is a useful tool to incorporate into workplace culture that encourages alternative solutions to complex problems, helps to inspire others and create a positive working environment.
There are many ways of igniting the spark of creative thinking and unleashing new creative opportunities at work. Creativity in the workplace is key to establishing a work culture that your workforce engages in. Here are five ways you can inspire creativity in your employees to help improve productivity levels and job satisfaction in your workplace.
1. Facilitate a Team Mentality
Conduct new and exciting team building challenges that everyone will want to get involved in. Give your staff the opportunity to get to know one another, inspire them to work together and bring new ideas to life. It is important to encourage everyone to work as a team, especially when it comes to managing difficult tasks, or tackling big projects.
Facilitating a team mentality and creating new opportunities for your staff to flourish, will also promote the need for new creative ideas, when it comes to collaborating with others. Encouraging laughter and humour can also help strength team building and inclusivity, or talking openly about recent topical news and sharing personal news with others. Building trust with colleagues will help ideas flow more naturally, and inspiration spur freely across all departments.
2. Decorate Your Office Space
Making improvements to the office environment will encourage creativity through sensory experiences and stimulate the need for creative thought. Hanging thought-provoking quotes on the wall, filling the office with new scents, or having the radio playing through loudspeakers in social areas of the workplace, will help your employees tackle any task head on.
Cultivate a lively environment to inspire creative thinking for extroverts and create small, quiet spaces for introverts to exert their creative thoughts. Be flexible in your approach to decorating the office space and tailoring it to individual needs. This not only inspires creativity, but reduces stress levels and stimulates the mind.
3. Provide More Freedom and Flexibility
Flexible working programs have become increasingly popular during a time where stress levels have risen significantly, and employees are expressing their desire to work from home, or have a shorter working day. Flexible working schedules lead to higher rates of overall productivity and higher job satisfaction. It also inspires creativity. When your employees are less stressed and have more time to reflect on their thought processes, they are more inclined to bring new ideas to the boardroom.
For creativity to flourish, it requires a certain level of freedom and flexibility. Creativity can come and go. It can occur in the spur of the moment, or when we are travelling somewhere new. It is difficult for some to be creative when they are unable to experience new environments and are trapped at their desk all day.
So think outside the box. Promote a four day week, or let your employees work from a location of their choice once a week. Increase the number of days your staff can take off for holidays or vacations during the course of the year.
4. Encourage Regular Breaks
Building regular breaks into your work culture encourages extra time for social interaction, walks outside the office and some creative reflection time. Even just promoting 10 minute breaks every 2 hours away from the desk, or an excuse to walk to the kitchen to make a coffee, can be crucial for improving staff productivity levels.
None of us are robots. We all require time to rest and recharge our batteries. During these breaks you can take a walk, self-reflect, read, or participate in team activities like game sessions or voluntary activities like helping clean the office. Create a culture where your employees are not pressured to work nonstop and is acceptable for them to take breaks throughout the day. Before you know it, your staff will be filling you with new creative ideas for products and services you can offer and your business will flourish!
5. Rethink Your Approach to Meetings
Most meetings can end up being really unproductive and you end up spending more time preparing for the next meeting, rather than discussing the issues raised in the first place. Most employees dread meetings because they pull them away from more important work, or they feel they are not relevant to them.
Before scheduling a meeting, make sure it is absolutely necessary. Next, make the meeting engaging. Don’t just sit and read off a piece of paper. Adopt a “Show and Tell” approach and encourage knowledge sharing. Offer prizes to the most engaged colleague of the week and reward hard-working behaviours. You could even consider holding walking meetings outside, rather than being kept in a stuffy office room. Meetings should inspire creativity, not destroy it. So be creative when it comes to your approach to meetings and leave your staff feeling inspired, happy and excited for the day ahead.
Creativity is associated with freedom and openness. Cultivating creative thinking in the workplace is essential for driving future business success. It will help you develop the solutions and services you need to transform your organisation and setting you apart from others in your industry.