Increasing creativity in the workplace takes time, but here’s how senior managers and employees can all benefit from the self-development, fresh approaches and shared ownership that creativity brings.
1. Reduce paid input from creative third parties
Boosting creativity in the workplace can reduce the need to hire third parties for creative projects, releasing more budget to allocate to other areas of the project.
Creative third parties are, naturally, specialists at what they do. Sometimes it makes more financial sense to hire a third party for their creative expertise. A creative professional’s experience and outlook can ensure the final product or service looks, feels and operates to a high standard in order to be a success and provide true business value.
That said, employees who are encouraged to bring their personal creative skills to the fore can help a wide variety of creative activities be brought in-house.
2. Increase employee trust
Creativity is, in essence, thinking beyond the status quo. When an organisation encourages and enables its employees to think beyond the status quo, that’s a tangible display of trust. That trust placed in the employees is likely to be reciprocated.
Employees will value the organisation that values and tacitly acknowledges their well-rounded skillset and personal skills and strengths. They will be more likely to stick around and aim to develop their career in an organisation that encourages them to reach their fullest potential.
3. Increase employee motivation
A powerful way to motivate employees is to give them a sense of agency and ownership in their roles and tasks. Encouraging creativity in the workplace essentially employees feel they have agency and can propose new ideas that, if taken on board, could in some way shape the company and its products and services.
A powerful way to demotivate employees is to make them feel like robots on a treadmill that’s spinning increasingly quickly. Going through the motions in a manner that’s both boring and hard at the same time. Having a greater focus on creativity dispels that kind of negative atmosphere in the workplace.
4. Increase employee engagement and reduce workplace stress
Creativity is playful, because it is an act of exploration of the unknown. It’s a process of experimentation. The final action, product or service must be excellent, but the early stages of the creative process have a built-in sandbox feel where it’s okay and, in fact, useful to fail. Some creative ideas won’t work out, but some will – and they can be taken further.
Creative playfulness, novelty and safe experimentation can really wake up and shake up employees. It can feel like a breath of fresh air after the repetition of daily tasks or the grind of working to tight deadlines.
The dopamine hit of endorphins that comes with creativity can literally make employees feel more awake, and more ready to engage fully with their roles and daily activities. Creativity is fun. It’s a productive way to relieve stress in the workplace.
5. Increase employee collaboration and teamwork
Creativity can bring a shared sense of passion to the workplace. Carrying out creative work might be a solo endeavour – especially if an activity has been assigned to an individual employee with a particular skillset or interest. However, even in circumstances like these, workplace creativity becomes a collaborative process.
- Employees bounce ideas off each other.
- Group feedback and brainstorming can be encouraged.
- Hierarchical structures are softened as leaders and employees can make equally valid contributions in a creative scenario.
6. Increase employee self-development
Learning and development are hugely beneficial to an employee’s sense of self value. Increased personal confidence in their skillset and experience can encourage employees to be motivated to challenge themselves to progress as individuals within the company.
Increasing creativity in the workplace can also boost an employee’s drive to develop themselves to their full potential. They gain confidence in their skills and their own unique voice. They are incentivised to learn business-related new skills for their own pleasure and personal satisfaction.
7. Improve work-life balance in the workplace
Creativity is a unique process. When we create, we are free to explore our thoughts and feelings. We can offer up ideas or ways of thinking that stem from our own personal backgrounds, mindsets and motivations. Creativity leads to a sense of feeling authentic at work, bridging the gap between who we ‘are’ in the workplace and who we ‘are’ in our private lives.
Both employees and managers can heave a sigh of relief at feeling more like themselves in the workplace. It’s reassuring to know that being who we ‘really are’ is not only permitted in the workplace, but valued.
When creative culture bridges that disconnect between work and life, employees and leaders alike can feel a greater sense of wellbeing and motivation more of the time.
8. How do managers benefit from creativity in the workplace? A creative culture enhances organisational culture.
Collaborative problem solving
The problem with being a senior manager or leader is that there’s only one of you to go round. Yes, you have fantastic problem solving and decision making skills. Unfortunately, everyone wants you to solve their problems for them.
Increasing creativity in the workplace creates more of an energised hive mind. Employees feel more able and motivated to offer creative solutions. In a diverse workplace, a great solution to a challenging problem could come from anywhere or anyone. That’s less work for you, allowing you to streamline your time management while potentially creating the best solutions all round.
Ethical solutions in organisational culture
There are five ethical approaches to decision making and approaching business challenges. Three of them relate to moral human rights, virtue, and taking action for the common good.
Approaching a challenge from the perspective of moral human rights begs the leader to ask: Does this action respect the moral rights of everyone involved?
The virtuous approach to ethics in business means the development of individual ethical traits using resilience and self-reflection. By fostering a spirit of creativity in the workplace, leaders encourage employees to develop their skillset, think like the company as a whole, and take ownership of the creative ideas they propose or collaborate on.
Rising to challenges in line with the common good means asking if the good of the individual is linked to the good of the organisation. When multiple people come together in creative acts, they bring multiple perspectives to a project. Their diverse knowledge and experience build in a more holistic approach to achieving a creative business goal.
Increasing creativity in the workplace takes time… and patience is a virtue
If you’re starting from scratch as a leader, nurturing a creative culture in the workplace takes time. Bonds of mutual trust need to be established. As a team, you need to explore each other’s individual strengths and skills that may not have previously been brought to light. You’ll also need to explore a variety of creative techniques to see what works best for the team as a whole.
However, the benefits of creativity in the workplace and manifold. Encouraging a creative atmosphere in the workplace is time well spent.
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