Gone are the days when workplace creativity only happened in the upper echelons of a business. Today, many companies—and certainly those that are progressive and successful—are supporting an environment of creativity throughout the workplace. From offices to plant floors, employees in every type of workplace are being encouraged to put forward their ideas and think outside the box.
Reportedly, Google is one of the leading supporters of creativity in the workplace, giving its employees leeway to spend up to 20 percent of their work time on their own creative projects. And while most businesses don’t have the ability to allow that much time, encouraging creativity in some capacity can give even the smallest companies new ideas and strategies to grow their businesses.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Build a diverse team
Many leaders make the mistake of populating their teams with employees who think as they do. Creativity comes from a group that has a variety of skills, strengths and personalities. Encourage different opinions and robust debates. Let them know that it’s alright to fail.
Give your team freedom
If you’re getting a new project or initiative underway, give your people what they need and let them fly with it. Don’t put any additional limits on them. Doing that could subdue their motivation, so let their creativity flow naturally.
Observe, but don't micromanage
Observation and follow-up are essential components of leadership, but micromanaging will stifle or kill all creativity. If your team is going to be innovative, you must allow them to use their skills freely without looking over their shoulders.
Supply some direction
Even though creativity requires a mostly hands-off approach from management, you will need to provide some basic boundaries and a goal. Give your team the objective, and allow them to create the path to it. Ask your employees what they need from you, and check in occasionally to see how things are progressing. Aside from that, be available to give them any support they need.
Do some of the brainstorming in private
Some of the less aggressive members of the team often don’t share their ideas in meetings. Taking the brainstorming offline will give these introverts a chance to pitch their thoughts on a level playing field. It also keeps the most assertive members from lobbying for their ideas.
Are you looking to add creative workers to your team?
United Personnel has been providing staffing solutions to Western Massachusetts and beyond for over 30 years. Let us use our experience and expertise to help you build a strong team for your business. Contact us today for more information.