How to Promote Creativity in the Workplace
Creativity is defined as being the “ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects.’
The benefits of promoting creativity are considerable. Perhaps the most important being staff morale. Enabling employees to express themselves breeds a sense of purpose which inherently leads to greater self worth and feelings of accomplishment. Creativity in the workplace is proven to increase levels of productivity which is critical to company growth. Another key benefit being the more that creative thinking is encouraged within your company, the more it becomes an essential part of your ethos, making you an attractive prospect to not only future clients but employees too. Employees who want to work for an employer that values individuality and welcomes diverse ideas and concepts.
Don’t assume that as interior designers working in the creative field that this is something that comes easily, we too need inspiration to facilitate this process. With this in mind we did some research and have rounded up a few practical methods which we believe will help boost creativity in the workplace.
Diversity is Key
Hire a diverse team. The result being that you will invariably end up with many different skill sets and perspectives. Encourage collaboration and healthy debate between your employees. Create time and space in which they are able to share, opinions, experiences and ideas.
Promote Creativity Through Office Design
We are definitely in our comfort zone with this one!
Provide a stimulating, comfortable and inspiring environment. We have discussed in previous articles about de-lineating and opening up workspaces. Rows and rows of solitary cubicles are not conducive to creativity. Consider bringing elements of biophilic design into the workspace. Colour schemes that are inspired by nature, lots of plants, and exploit sources of natural light. Invest in ergonomic furniture. Maybe consider background music and keep optimum temperature levels.
If you would like us to come on board and help you develop these concepts within your work place then do please get in touch.
Provide Freedom and Flexibility
Switch up environments, hold meetings and brainstorming sessions in coffee shops for example. Think about offering flexibility with regards to hours and when/where they can be worked. Cultivate a sense of freedom so that employees do not feel constrained by the rigidity of a set working environment and/or regular office hours.
Invest Time and Money in Training
There is vast importance in spending time and money on training. If an employee knows exactly what they are doing and the way they are expected to to be doing it, they will feel self-assured and settled in the workplace, which will in turn allow room in themselves for creativity to flow.
Develop your Core Values and Make them Clear
Define your values and company ethos and make them absolutely clear so that your employees are confident in what the company stands for and the direction it is heading. Like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle, the company, it’s leaders and employees are perfectly in sync. Make sure there is no miscommunication. It is important for employees to understand not only the value they hold within the company, but the value that they can create too.
Set Goals but Allow Freedom on how to Achieve those Goals
It is a leader’s job within a company to set targets. Micro-managing however is a massive hindrance to the creative process. Team members will know what their individual strengths are. Allow freedom for them to play to these individual strengths and come up with their own methods to achieving any goals set.
Act on Good Ideas!
Employees are much more likely to be forthcoming with suggestions if they know they will be put into action. Make a point of letting team members know that good, creative ideas will be implemented and give credit where credit is due when ideas are a success.
Open and Honest Communication
As a leader be approachable. Be open to stepping back and widening your perspective on any given issue. Appreciate that there is more than one way to achieve a goal. Give praise when deserved and always make sure that feedback is constructive and considerate. If you feel that certain employees may feel too intimated to put forward ideas or criticism, consider providing an anonymous outlet such as a ‘suggestion’ or ‘ways to make better’ box.
Actively Encourage Risk taking
Cultivate a culture that promotes taking risks. Employees should not be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes should not only be tolerated but expected, and realised to be part of the creative learning process. This will allow for the freedom to experiment, the best ideas often come form lateral thinking and testing boundaries. Employees need to feel confident that they have your support in this.