Give Your Employees A Challenge
Your employees are used to things being the same every day. They come into work, they get their work done, and they go home. Workplaces can easily become static and dull. Time to challenge your employees.
One way to challenge your employees’ ways of thinking is by inviting expert speakers to come and talk to your employees. These master motivational speakers can really challenge your employees to think in a new and creative way. In fact, you may find yourself intrigued and challenged as well!
You might also want to do some collaborative problem solving strategies. Problem solving allows people to push themselves in new and unexpected ways. If it is designed correctly, your employees will feel energized and refreshed. Be sure not to make the challenge so difficult that your employees feel defeated.
One strategy that has been successful is having your employees work on a community problem. When employees are able to focus on the empowerment of others, they are able to feel as if they have really made a difference. Solving a community problem encourages creativity.
Give Employees Goals, But Let Them Figure Out How To Accomplish Them
As a manager of a business, you supervise your employees and help them set their goals. One of the hardest things to refrain from as a manager is to manage your employees too closely. No one likes to be micromanaged.
Your best bet is to set the goals for your employees, but allow them to figure out how to accomplish them. This allows your employees to use their creativity to solve problems and reach goals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Spend A Little Money
We know in these times, there is a lot of emphasis on stretching money, and making money last. In a tight budget world, it might be difficult to come up with resources to inspire creativity, but it can be done. Just getting out of the office for a picnic lunch with the team may be the spark you need—which doesn’t require a lot of money. You may need to look for resources for your team on image-free sites, or with free graphics programs to help them meet their goals.
If you do have a little money, why not put it into a rewards program for your employees? You might be surprised to find out that your employees’ love of Starbucks gift cards is the inspiration for your next creative coup.
Make Your Teams As Diverse As Possible
You need people on your teams from multiple perspectives, and with different strengths. If all of your employees think and work the same, the team is boring and stagnant. You need a team that will shake things up and inspires each other to be creative. We’re not advocating for chaos, because creativity doesn’t thrive well in chaos, but having a little friction often sparks creativity. When it comes to putting your team together, you need to rely on your instincts and your leadership experience to guide a dynamic creative team.
Nurture an Environment of Creativity
As part of your role as a leader, be sure your employees know that you are willing to take risks for the sake of creativity. You want them to challenge the norms and the exacting way you’ve been doing things within the company. You also want employees to constantly question the process without fear of reprisals. This is so important, because if your employees don’t feel safe, they will be mere yes men, and you won’t get the creativity you are looking for. Give approval and life to the questioners, and those people who look for challenges to the way things have always been done. You may be surprised at what you get in return.
Also, make sure that you are practicing what you preach. Don’t be afraid to question things. Praise creativity, and share information with other team members. Let employees who come to you with ideas talk and feel safe in the space of the team. When you make sure that your employees see you as an ally, and you behave the way you want employees to behave, they will know that you mean business with regard to creativity.
Give Your Team Permission to Learn
Lifetime learning is crucial for everyone. To inspire creativity, be sure that your employees know that they can seek out new information and knowledge that will help them in their careers. Encourage them to attend conferences and business events, as well as educational opportunities to enhance their skills. Training sessions from expert conference speakers can provide your employees with a varied range of creative approaches. Maybe one of your employees wants to take courses on digital platforms and social media platforms to help the team advance. You might also have team members who teach other members on a particular skillset. Why not? Be sure that while you are encouraging lifelong learning, you become a lifelong learner yourself.
Give Your Team a Break
With all of this learning and creativity with advancement, it is easy for any team to get stressed out. While you are doing your best to empower and lift up your employees, you also want to give your team breaks. Some of the most innovative companies have areas where their employees can go to take a break, take a quick nap, do yoga, paint, and draw. Other companies have green spaces set up where their employees can go to give their brains a rest. These companies know that it is much easier for the mind to be creative when it has had a rest period. Your employees will know that you truly want them to be creative if you encourage breaks.
A good leader knows when to look for sources of inspiration. Sometimes, your inspiration can come from your own employees—and that is a gift. Don’t be afraid to share your own bursts of creativity with your team members. By working together, you and your team will have the tools it takes to leap ahead on the creativity scale.