Creativity is essential for any company to thrive and grow. However, it is important to remember that creativity can be fragile and is easily snuffed out if you are not careful. In some companies, they discourage creativity and would rather have conformity from the get go, and that’s a huge mistake. Other companies and leaders within those companies are doing the opposite and are trying to foster and grow the creative minds within their company. What are some of the things you can do to make creativity thrive at your business? Let’s look at some examples.
Be Open to Ideas and Ask for Them
Before you can have a workplace that exudes creativity, you need to make it a place that’s willing to share ideas openly. You should encourage people to come up with new ideas for every aspect of the business. Whether it is doing something different in the break room to creating a new product, be willing to listen to ideas. Once the employees see you are open, they will be more willing to share.
Everyone Can Be Creative
In addition, you have to remember that everyone can be creative, not just those who have creative positions. Someone who works on the janitorial staff might have a great idea for marketing, for example. Listen to everyone’s ideas, and chances are you will find some real gems.
Have Brainstorming Meetings
At the beginning or the end of all of your meetings, take a few minutes for a brainstorming session for whatever project or problem the managers might be working on at the time. Ask people to help brainstorm and come up with some new ideas. Working together as a team like this can help the creativity flow. In the beginning, it can be a little awkward for some employees to voice their opinion in front of their peers. As the meetings continue, everyone will become more comfortable. If you feel you aren’t gaining from the brainstorming group meetings, try individual creative time. Whether it be allowing a staff member to work remotely or just going on a five minute walk away from their desk. It is amazing what creative ideas are developed when stepping away from an office environment for one hour.
This is very important. People like to be acknowledged and rewarded when they do well. When someone comes up with a great idea, then you should make sure that everyone knows that person created it. Rewards, whether financial or simply a thank you e-mail, help to encourage people. Here’s another idea. Reward the actual creativity, not just a successful idea. If an idea seemed good, but it didn’t quite pan out for some reason, you should still acknowledge the work that went into it.
Make the Workplace Fun
No one can thrive in a stifling environment. This is a fact. You need to make sure that your company culture is open and warm and that you have a creative and fun place to work. You don’t have to make sure that every day is like a day at the beach, but you should make sure that people are happy and comfortable at your business. A good way to do this is to have monthly contests and challenges that reward the creativity of those who participate.
Is Everyone Creative?
Even though everyone can be creative, as we mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean that everyone is or that everyone has that inclination. Sometimes, people aren’t into thinking outside of the box. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t necessarily a great fit for your company. It just means that you may not be able to count on them for big ideas. They shouldn’t be punished for this. Often, those who don’t seem creative are only nervous about sharing their ideas. It’s always a good idea to encourage them. Having them work in a group could be a good solution.
To learn more on how to grow your business in a creative environment check out South Florida Business and Wealth’s online magazine.