Creativity is a concept that is not embraced enough in the workplace. In fact, in far too many workplaces, such a thing is dissuaded more than it is encouraged. The problem is that too many people at the management level see creativity as a way for employees to veer too far off the proven path of success and allows for too much of the unknown or unproven to occur.
However, creativity as it relates to work is a mindset that is beneficial to any company no matter the type of work they do. For problem solving, group work and countless more reasons, managers should try to inspire creativity among their employees whenever possible. Here’s how you can do just that.
Set up collaborations.
People get used to working on their own. Some people like it more and even thrive more from solo work. But that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from the occasional collaborations. Some people feel more intimidated to try the more creative approaches on their own. When you set up your employees to work in a collaborative way, they begin sharing ideas more openly, they can improve of each other’s brainstorming concepts, and they can find a creative chemistry that just clicks. Allow for more opportunities for this kind of group work within the workplace and see what benefits come from it.
Embrace new ideas.
The tried-and-true way can be safe, certainly, but it can also be stifling. When you get too used to doing things one way, you become blinded to better and easier ways of working. Embracing creativity means letting your employees feel as though they can suggest ways of changing things up. Too often people feel that new approaches are not being looked for, nor are they welcome. Embracing new ideas will help your workforce realise they can have their own input when appropriate.
Support creativity – even when it doesn’t work.
Supporting creativity does not just mean saying yes when a good creative move comes up, it also means supporting the idea of creativity. The concept of creativity is built upon a sort of unknown way of approaching things. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, and as you’ll find out, it can often not work. But for creativity to thrive in a workplace, people need to learn not to fear those moments of failure. Don’t dismiss those bad ideas out right. Discuss them with the people who bring them up, learn more about their approach and give helpful feedback. They will learn what works and what doesn’t while still feeling like they can give it another shot further down the road.
A large part of inspiring creativity in the workplace means allowing some of the established rules to be bent somewhat. As a manager or boss, you’ll know what is necessity to maintain an effective workplace, and which things can be mixed up a bit. For instance, the 9-to-5 way of working is starting to become a bit of an out-dated concept. Creativity can occur outside the regular office hours and allowing your employees to embrace that fact could lead to great benefits. Likewise, the office is not always a necessary workspace. Working remotely can lead to a lot more productivity. These might seem like risks but they can payoff in big ways.
Much like how collaboration opens up the possibility of new ideas to come forward, doing group brainstorming sessions can help bring out the ideas that would otherwise remain unsaid. Brainstorming is a great, no-pressure situation where everyone can throw out ideas, concepts, questions without having to worry about how it will be taken. They can be under-developed ideas, spontaneous or otherwise imperfect, but in the group setting it allows people to just throw it all out there and see what sticks. You’d be surprised how often this can yield some truly great ideas.