As an entrepreneur, you understand that encouraging creativity within your team is beneficial for both employees and for your bottom line. A study by Adobe Data found that more than 80 percent of people felt they were discouraged from being creative at work, and 75 percent felt they were not living up to their creative potential. When employees are encouraged to be creative, they feel more valued, and as a result, they are more loyal employees. Creative employees think about the big-picture, and therefore look for new ways to solve big-picture problems that are necessary for your business to succeed, Entrepreneur says. So how do you foster and encourage that creative spirit in your employees? Here are four ways to get you started.
1. Make sure your offices are set up for creativity.
The most innovative businesses have offices that are physically set up so that employees have the space and opportunity to be creative. Gensler’s 2106 Workplace Innovation Survey found that the most creative employees will use multiple workspaces depending on their needs, whether it is formal conference rooms for group brainstorming, a more informal social space such as, a coffee room, courtyard or cafeteria, to collaborate with individual co-workers or a quiet space for individual focus. In addition to providing a choice of in-office spaces, give employees give flexibility as to when and where they work. The Gensler survey also found that the most creative employees spend 12 percent less time in the office and have twice as much choice about the time and place they work.
2. Utilize digital collaboration tools.
Like an increasing number of businesses, if you have members of your team working remotely (and since workers are more creative when given flexibility on where to work, why wouldnâ€™t you?), take advantage of the wide range of digital tools to encourage creative collaboration. People communicate more effectively and naturally when they can see each other, so invest in a virtual office desktop that allows video calling, visual voicemail and web conferencing. Encourage your employees, both remote and otherwise, to use a team messaging app like Slack or HipChat, which allows a constant flow of both work and non-work related communication. Both types of communication are important to build trust between employees, which leads to greater collaboration, which is the key to creativity in the workplace.
3. Reward creativity.
Make sure you are not just saying you value creativity among your team, but also reward creativity when it is shown. Create incentives for innovation, either monetary or in the form of recognition, and implementation of creative ideas. Don’t just reward ideas that work, but recognize the failures, too. Employees will be more encouraged to take risks if they are not afraid to fail.
4. Get serious about workplace diversity.
When you put employees of similar life experiences and work backgrounds together, you are likely to get more of the same. But when teams are a true blend of culture, experience, outlook, etc., they are more apt to produce innovative ideas.
In closing, employees that are happy and feel valued, will increase financial success and create longevity of your company. So, make it your business to have regular conversations with your employees.
As an employer, how are you rewarding your employees to promote loyalty? My readers would appreciate your input.