September 25, 2020

584 words 3 minutes.

5 Ways to Foster Creativity in the Workplace

The image shows a lightbulb in the foreground, with a diverse team of people out of focus behind it. Learn how to foster creativity in your team.

Creating an environment where your team is encouraged to contribute meaningful, creative ideas isn’t just a nice job perk - it’s vital to your agility as a company. Gallup research shows a link between creativity and job engagement, as well as innovation and market share.

During the COVID-19 crisis, creativity has become a coping mechanism for many, as people take up embroidery and bread baking and gardening. During the workday, business owners have had to take creative approaches to restructure their entire companies, from moving purchasing online to finding creative ways to retain employees. In times like these, creativity can be the difference between success and failure.

As important as it is, stressful, desperate times can make it increasingly challenging for companies to create the time and environment to allow creative work to take place. Here are 5 things you can do to support your team’s creative powers.

5 Things Strong Teams do to Stay Creative to Weather Tough Times

#1: Give Them the Freedom to Do the Job Right

Not everyone is creative in the same environment, at the same time, or with the same setup. By being open to more flexible schedules and working environments, you can empower your team members to do their most creative work. Consider options like more flexible schedules, or by making working from home available even after COVID.

The trust that this creates and the ability to work in a way that is most effective for the individual helps allow team members to get into a rhythm to stay creative.

#2: Provide Structure

This may seem counterintuitive, and it’s true that micromanaging can stifle creativity, but providing direction can help set the foundation for great results. Gives folks the framework they need to create something exciting.

Clear expectations, including basic parameters and a tangible goal, can help provide the framework you need for creative work.

#3: Promote Diversity

By intentionally building a diverse team with many different perspectives, you’ll be able to approach challenges from different angles.

Make a point of creating an environment where individuals have a chance to contribute in a meaningful way and make their voices heard, and you’ll discover new processes and approaches that you otherwise may never have considered.

#4: Encourage Collaboration

Getting together to brainstorm keeps everyone on the same page and helps the team come up with new ideas. Even if face to face meetings aren’t an option right now, try video or phone. Bouncing ideas off of one another can help you come up with more innovative solutions than you would if you were stuck inside your own silo.

#5: Take the Time

According to Gallup, 35% of workers said that they’re only given the time to be creative a few times a year or less! Good time management makes creativity possible, but freeing up time can be a challenge for a busy company. Look at small changes you can make to carve out that time. This includes:

  • Automating what tasks you can.
  • Prioritizing the ones you can’t.

Where do you need to be spending your time right now? What’s your best play? Giving your best minds the time to focus on your most important projects will come up with a better result than trying to do everything at once.

Creativity is an increasingly-vital skillset, even for organizations that aren’t in a creative field. The World Economic Forum calls it the most in-demand soft skill for people across all business roles. How do you empower your team’s creative abilities?

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