When caught in a productive slump or pressed to complete a project, employees may feel drained of their creativity. Whether it is a creative block or the need to build a better environment to foster creativity, these five simple steps will help any business owner inspire their workers.
Encourage Two-Tiered Brainstorming
Brainstorming is one of the most important parts to creating, but it has been proven that the traditional get-together in the conference room is actually not as productive as we thought. In your business, encourage a two-tiered step to brainstorming that asks employees to come to the meeting only after having their own brainstorming session individually. Then, when in the meeting room together, require that everyone contributes to the conversation. These two steps ensure that everyone is involved in the creative process and that as many ideas can be generated as possible.
Schedule the Time
In our busy day to day schedules, our to-do lists are often filled up with tangible tasks that have a clear outcome. Time is money, and the idea of carving out time that has no explicit end product seems wasteful. Giving employees the time to mull over ideas and experiment in a conference room with or without you, though, shows them that you value their thought processes. Allowing time to think and plan, even if nothing comes to fruition, promotes an opening for ideas that may never have had the space to grow.
Get on Your Employees Level
If you’re participating in the creativity session with your employees, get your hands dirty with them. Be part of the creative process. When in the second tier of your brainstorming meetings, bring your own ideas to the table, too, and allow for criticism and feedback. You can maintain your position as a leader in the group, but leaders that work with their employees rather than only above them encourage more open communication, which will bring forth better ideas. Creativity comes from the group, and business owners are not excluded.
Accept and Encourage Failure
The fastest way to quelch creativity is to instill fear of failure in employees. When failure is not only accepted but encouraged, employees have the freedom to think bigger. Limit boundaries of thought to help your employees flourish and grow your business. There’s no need to “think outside the box” when the box doesn’t exist.
Last, but certainly not least: reward your employees for creativity. As business owners with a lot on our plates, encouragement and rewards for great ideas and work can often fall by the wayside. It is important to remember that your employees sometimes need extrinsic motivation. This can take form as a small financial reward or bonus at the end of a big project to a small office party funded by the company to even just a vocal acknowledgement that the employee or group is doing a great job. Rewards are a reminder or push to keep producing quality products or services, and they are an important part of encouraging creativity. Remember that compensation and rewards are different, and each have their own place in the business.
Sometimes employees need to be given the proper environment to be creative. Don’t forget to try these five quick tips to encourage creativity as a business owners: encourage two-tiered brainstorming to make sure that the time spent on thinking is spent well, schedule the time to be creative rather than just hope it happens, get on your employee’s level to encourage them to think things through and work with you, accept and encourage failure to limit boundaries on your employee’s brainstorming sessions, and reward creativity to keep your employees motivated to think bigger and better. These quick and simple fixes to your business environment will help you and your employees think more creatively.