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How to Encourage Creativity in the Workplace

Having good products and services, providing excellent customer service, implementing a solid marketing strategy, and sustaining the capital necessary to cover overhead costs are all important factors for making your business a success. Yet, one commonly overlooked key to success in business is creativity. The most prolific brands have been able to remain the pioneers in their industries by finding innovative and creative approaches that beat out the competition and appeal to their target audiences.

Why Creativity in the Workplace Matters?

A creative workforce essentially means a team that uses their imagination, takes risks, and continually develops new and innovative ideas. As competition increases and consumer interests change, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to develop concepts and ideas that help them to separate themselves from the pack while sustaining the interests of their target customers. A work environment that fosters creativity has also proven to boost employee morale. Companies who don’t prioritize or encourage creativity in the workplace eventually become stagnated in their path to success.

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Boosting Creativity

Now that you know why creativity in the workplace is ideal, let’s take a look at some ways to encourage it within your business:

  • Change Office Design – The layout of the office can have a significant impact on your team’s ability to be creative. Consider some office design and layout changes to help encourage creativity in the workplace. This might include tearing down walls or eliminating cubicles for a more open work environment, painting walls in bold colors like yellow, red, or orange to boost mood and inspire creative minds, or creating communal places where teams can gather to collaborate on projects.

  • Suggestion Boxes – Another way to encourage employees to be creative in the workplace is to have a suggestion box. Place the box in an area where everyone can see it and allow them to place suggestions inside. Review the suggestions regularly, and do your best to support the ideas you found most innovative. Rewarding employees that come up with suggestions you want to use is also another way to get everyone excited about sharing their ideas.

  • Conferences and Seminars – Coming up with new ideas and innovative strategies isn’t always easy. Allowing employees to attend conferences and seminars hosted by a design organization or other organizations can give them education, experience, and understanding in areas that help to get those creative juices flowing once again.

  • Brainstorming Sessions – Brainstorming sessions can be instrumental in encouraging creativity in the workplace. These sessions allow a diverse group of individuals to bounce ideas off of each other. As multiple brains can often be better than one, these group meetings can generate innovative concepts and ideas that take the business to the next level.

  • Stop Micromanaging –  As the saying goes, a watched pot never boils. Constantly asking for updates or critiquing their work can stifle their creative processes. If you want your team to reach their fullest potential, it is imperative that you give them the space they need to spread their wings, take risks, and even, make mistakes.

  • Hire a Diverse Team – Hiring individuals who are very similiar in personal and professional experiences hinders the creative process. When hiring employees, create a recruitment process that will help you to identify skilled yet creative applicants from all walks of life. It is the different cultures, lifestyles, professional experiences, and educational backgrounds, that can bring in different points of view and inspiration to develop new and creative ideas.

  • Playtime – This may sound counterproductive to some. Yet, creative minds would agree that all work and no play can stunt your imagination. If you want to encourage creativity in the workplace, perhaps you should encourage your employees to have a little fun. Whether it’s taking a break from the office and going out for a fun lunch or creating a breakroom with fun games to play, these moments can help to break up the monotony and inspire creativity.

From developing policies and procedures to coming up with new products and services, creativity is a necessary ingredient to a company’s success. When your team is in an environment that not only encourages but supports their goals, visions, and ideas, there’s no telling just how far your business can go.

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