We are all aware that creativity is something that needs nurturing and certain conditions to develop. Many companies have recognized it as a form of the idea development process which is more abstract than tangible. This means that certain conditions need to be met so employees can work in an environment which will accommodate all the necessary means for their unobstructed creative effort.
The best known example is Google, with its modern and supportive approach to the creative process of its employees. But nowadays, more and more businesses adopt these principles. Encouraging creativity is actually easier than you may believe, although it does take some effort. To help, we’ve gathered some of the important aspects you can adopt in your workplace and boost the creativity of employees.
One of the most important aspects of creativity is brainstorming. In order to help your employees with this, organize regular meetings and talk about ideas. Also, encourage the team leaders to have brainstorming meetings and to help the employees develop their ideas into valuable solutions and projects. This way you will encourage people to think more out of the box and freely voice their creativity.
Bear in mind that some employees may have a problem with expressing themselves publicly. So placing a suggestion box and having open doors for one-on-one brainstorming meetings is a nice way to help those shy individuals express themselves.
Team building has become a completely normal thing in companies. Besides being a great way to create a more friendly atmosphere and better relations between the employees, it’s also a great way to facilitate the idea making process. If people are working in a familiar environment, they will most likely be more creative and stand up for the company’s ideals.
You don’t have to take your employees on extravagant business trips. Friday night karaoke or other forms of joint fun can be more appropriate for people to get to know each other and exchange ideas. You can even organize for teams to go away to a retreat or some secluded place to brainstorm and work on ideas.
Reward new ideas
It may be a little bit old-school, but rewarding your employees for a job well done is still effective. Being creative in the workplace is risky and, unfortunately, the downside of it is failure. That shouldn’t be something discouraging for your employees. It is normal for new and innovative things to fail in the beginning, but that is only a part of the learning process and adapting changes to make it work.
As a company you should prepare for possible failures and make sure that your employees understand that not all ideas will be a success. This will eliminate fear for your employees to be forward and motivated to think freely about new solutions and directions. Every instance of successful creativity should be rewarded with a bonus, promotion or some other form which will serve as an encouraging method for others to think creatively.
Organize the workplace
Companies pay a lot of attention to design and décor these days, thus recognising the importance of visual surroundings to their employees. Colors can have a huge impact on one’s mind, as many studies have shown. Light blue will support creative thinking, while red creates anxiety and negativity. Placing images which limit the thinking process like statistics and charts can lead to a closed up creative environment.
On the other hand, using some inspiring pictures like nature and animals can promote a more positive atmosphere and release the pressure of the thought process. Instead of keeping unnecessary things like folder cabinets and pieces of furniture, you can place them in an affordable storage or somewhere else where they won’t clutter the workplace. More open office space where employees can interact will create a friendly atmosphere and a more relaxed setting.
Create a break room
Creativity is a process of thinking and as such it requires special conditions. Some people need peace and quiet, while others like to do something completely different in order to organize their thoughts. Today, practically all the companies which work on idea development have some sort of the break room so their employees can relax and take the stress off their shoulders. Usually, these break rooms have video games and table football, but some even go as far as to create a real playland in their buildings.
Board games, chess, twister, bowling alleys, and even courts for indoor volleyball, tennis or squash are used as forms of relaxation and creativity boosters. But even the smallest things like puzzle can be helpful to the creative process just as much as basketball court would be. Your employees need to clear their heads and have a break so they can eliminate the tension and refresh their minds.
The company is as good as its employees. Today, the market promotes new ideas and creativity is the main resource to be on top of the competition. So don’t spare any means to help your employees be creative and freely suggest their ideas. Maybe there is a new Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk among them who will help you change the world and launch your company with their creativity to new heights.
Written by Helen Bradford