Encouraging Creativity in the Workplace

Do you manage a workplace in which employees feel free to communicate new ideas? Do your workers come to you with new plans or solutions about how to run company meetings more efficiently? Have your employees ever introduced ideas for a new marketing plan or suggested topics for the company’s blog?

If this does not sound familiar, your company may be unintentionally stifling employee creativity. A lack of creativity amongst your employees, in today’s business environment, can spell the doom for your organization and may keep you one step behind the competition.

Regardless of the industry, creativity is necessary to produce new ideas and rethink processes. Getting your employees to think creatively can mean that you have a whole team of people trying to enhance your business. Not always, but often employees will not apply their creative minds to your company unless you encourage them to do so.

One of the best ways to encourage fresh thinking is to merely listen to your employees when they present new ideas. Most employees are nervous when approaching their superiors with new concepts, particularly when it’s a concept that falls “outside of the box.” So make sure you give them an open forum to reveal their ideas and give them the respect to listen closely to them. Another way is to ask your employees, if you are trying to think of a way to improve the company’s blog, or products, send out an email asking for ideas. Not all of your employee’s ideas will impress you, but, so as not to single anyone out, pay attention to them all.

Dismissing an idea before you have heard it or not giving it your full awareness will discourage your employees and defeat your purpose. Instead of having a bunch of progressive thinkers working for you, you may end up with a group of people just going through the motions for their paychecks.

To truly stimulate creativity, reward those employees who do come up with powerful ideas. This could mean paying a small bonus to those employees whose ideas you use. It could mean praising employees in company newsletters or memos. It could even mean an in-person “thank you.”

Many people want a job that allows them to be creative. It stimulates their minds and prevents boring redundancy. Many employees also have ideas on how to improve their place of business; they just haven’t voiced them to you. So encourage them to let you know what they think. It doesn’t mean that the way you have been doing things is bad; it just means that they may have ideas that you many not have thought of. Regardless, you and your business will reap the benefits of their creativity and your employees will be happier for it.

About tsgnetworks

TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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