6 Ways Leaders Can Promote Creativity in the Workplace

The biggest killer for a business is the “This is how we do it because we’ve always done it that way” mentality. Especially in a day and age where there are so many mindset and operational shifts, employees leaving in droves, and continued uncertainty. So, how do you break that cycle? As a leader, you must inspire creative thinking and problem-solving in your business initiatives through your management style. You must inspire your team to be creative!
But there is a struggle with inspiring your team to create in some cases. Many people don’t see themselves as innately creative and don’t know how to spark it within themselves. They need a little push. Here are a few ways you can promote creativity in your business for ultimate success!

Think About Your Office Design

There’s a reason that open-office designs are becoming more popular again post-COVID. When all of your employees are siloed in their own office or cubicles or behind a screen at home, there’s rarely space for impromptu collaboration, which often sparks creativity and creative problem-solving! Even if you have cubicles or offices, ensure plenty of open spaces for gathering that can spark conversations and ideas. Don’t stick everyone under fluorescent lights. Add greenery (plants reduce stress!) and build a unique design that will foster imagination! You can do many things to make your office a safe space to create.

Place a Focus on Diversity

When you bring people with different backgrounds together, you’ll inevitably get greater outputs than when you put a group of people with the same backgrounds together. The idea and knowledge sharing inspired by different values, experiences, and families allows teams to develop innovative ideas that serve diverse populations.

And there are stats to prove this. Harvard Business Review has shared that more diverse companies had 19% higher innovation revenues. McKinsey has found that those with diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability. A Glassdoor survey results revealed that over 75% of job seekers say that a diverse workforce is an important factor when deciding on a job offer. Where do you think that stems from? Unique perspectives, abilities, and demographics coming together to create!

Preach That Failure is Okay

A lot of the time, employees don’t innovate because they’re afraid that failure isn’t an option. They’d rather play it safe and do things the same way as usual because they don’t want to be reprimanded if something doesn’t work or goes wrong.

Harvard Business Review shares that while this can be difficult because you don’t want to tolerate incompetence, there is a way to articulate it at the management level to inspire. You can differentiate between productive and unproductive failures. They state, “Productive failures yield valuable information relative to their cost. A failure should be celebrated only if it results in learning.” You’re celebrating the fact that something was learned, not that it was a failure. So, if things actually weren’t done correctly, now that’s a different story. With correct performance standards and an encouragement to experiment, it’s easy to get this sort of culture started!

Allow Flexibility in Schedules

While some leaders think intuitive work schedules are a bad idea, many are allowing their teams the flexibility to choose how and when they work. The idea behind an intuitive work schedule is selecting the time of day where your energy is at its peak, rather than having to sit there 9-5 no matter how you’re feeling.
Perhaps a parent on your team does better work at 5:00 a.m. with a cup of coffee in hand before the kids get up and start demanding a parent’s attention. Maybe a manager does better when they can take a few hours mid-day to take a walk and get a workout in order to increase endorphins. Allowing people to consider the ebbs and flows of their energy doesn’t only promote good culture. It sparks creativity because people are working when they’re functioning at their highest ability.

Actively Reward Creativity

Sometimes, incentivization goes a long way. When employees understand your mission and are given a little inspiration to help move it forward, big things can happen! Here are a few ideas for how you can actively reward your team for creativity to inspire big change:
  • Start an innovation competition, give the winner the resources they need to implement their idea for the business and a bonus
  • Celebrate a creative idea each week in team meetings. Allowing an employee to feel uplifted and excited by recognition is a good way to want to do more!

Have Some Fun at Work

When your team is more comfortable with each other, and they truly get to know one another, they’re more comfortable throwing crazy ideas out there. Those crazy ideas could ultimately end up being really profitable!

Be a Creative Leader & Steer Your Team Towards Greater Achievements

A study of Adobe data found that 75% of people think that they aren’t living up to their full creative potential. There’s no better gift you can give your team than allowing them to channel their innate creativity. Both for their professional growth and personal growth! If you want to learn how to lead your team towards creative thinking or want to implement company-wide coaching to foster that development, NimblyWise can help. Let’s chat!