Before getting into how to inspire your employees to be create, and think beyond the traditional ideas let us first determine why it is important for your employees to be creative, even if your don’t consider yourself a business that requires it. It’s simple: Creative people tend to be more motivated because they’ve achieved something. They’ve discovered a better way of doing things or they’ve solved a problem by thinking outside the box. By successfully finding solutions, they’re more motivated to work. And the more motivated they are, the more productive they are. And the more productive they are, the more satisfied and motivated they are. The cycle endlessly recreates itself.
Here a few tips on nurturing and encouraging creative thinking at the workplace.
1.Identifying the problem – Before you can increase creativity in your employees, you need to figure out why they’re not creative now. Once you know where to look, the answers are usually obvious. If you decide your employees don’t have the best knowledge, skills, abilities and resources, then you need to decide how to get them further education and training, hire better people or provide more challenging experiences.
2.Encourage Free Thinking – It may seem obvious to promote free thinking, but it’s not always the way that businesses work. Often we stick to the tried and tested route, simply because it works. But free thinking helps keep your business sharp, relevant and profitable. It’s all about leaving behind old, outdated models, and discovering new ones. Create a culture in your business in which employees are encouraged to think freely and express their ideas.
3.Schedule Brainstorming Sessions – Sometimes the best way to encourage creativity is to schedule it into the day. Set aside time for a weekly brainstorming session that involves all your employees. Encourage employees from different departments to interact with each other. These kinds of cross-workplace discussions can lead to ideas that are better simply because diverse viewpoints are taken into consideration.
4.Set an example – The best way to encourage employees to be creative is by setting the tone at the top. Display an appetite to be creative and bold, by straying from the usual path wherever it can be done. They will be more likely to follow your lead with confidence.
5.Adequate Break Times – The best creative thinking comes when the brain has time to relax. Frequent and scheduled breaks can actually boost the creative spirit in the workplace.
6.Take Field Trips – Get out of the office and take your employees to visit other companies, conferences or even just parks. Field trips can get them—and you—out of their everyday comfort zone and into a space where new thoughts and ideas can take hold.
7.Communicate Openly – No matter how creative your employees are, you’ll never know about it if you’re not talking with them about their ideas. Talk openly with them, both formally and informally, about what can be done better, what can be improved, and what their overall ideas are for changing the business.
8.Evaluate, Measure, Track – When your employees come up with creative ways to improve the business, boost sales or bring about other improvements, make sure to evaluate the changes. The evaluation process is just as important as the implementation stage, since it can give you and your employees a sense of what works, what doesn’t and why. It can also give you the chance to fine-tune new procedures in order to make them work even more effectively.
Creative business practices can seem abstract and out-of-reach, but in fact, they’re accessible to any business owner who’s willing to foster them. Once you make creativity an active and important part of your working culture, your business—and your employees—will flourish.