Ways to Build Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace

Creativity is about unique creation from new ideas and fresh thoughts. It is about new approaches to old or already-existing things. A creative idea can be simple yet groundbreaking. Innovation is translating an idea into form.

Creativity and innovation together can be the cutting edge solution that company heads are always looking for but fail to find. With creativity and innovation as tools; employees can work more efficiently, generate new ideas to benefit your business, and be happier at the workplace.

Creativity is a skill some people are born with but it can also be developed or even enhanced with regular practice.

Here some ways to build creativity and innovation in the workplace.

Encourage and Reward Creative Thinking

Not everyone is open to sharing their ideas for fear of ridicule. As a boss or team leader, when you foster an environment where employees are encouraged to think uniquely and share those insights with the team; it helps everyone involved in a project. When your employees know that their ideas are appreciated, heard, and even implemented (whenever possible) then you can expect more creativity to flow freely in the workplace.

Appreciating an innovation by an employee in front of the team can be a morale booster for all. It can make your employees feel valued. If a creative solution leads to more business for your company, you can also offer monetary reward or incentives to the employee or the team that brought the idea forward.

Know that not every creative idea will work. But it is important to keep pushing employees to think in unique ways. Remember rewards and encouragement and not judgment and ridicule are the keys to fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace.

Develop a Relaxed and Positive Workplace

A positive environment is crucial to happier employees. When the mind is relaxed and at ease, ideas can flow more freely. So, it is important to foster an office environment that is fun, encouraging, and full of positive vibes. Help your employees relieve stress by offering avenues in the workplace through games, outings, and creative workshops.

It is also important to not put people on the spot. In a team meeting, not everyone can sprout creative ideas one after the other. So, give people time to develop their ideas. Also, it is crucial to not limit creativity to just brainstorming sessions or for new product launches/business initiatives. Make creativity the norm. Encourage employees to be creative in their everyday workflow practices and find unique ways of doing mundane tasks.

Shake Things Up

Nothing stifles creativity more than a stagnant work environment. Mix teams up and bring fresh talent to work on existing projects. Allow your employees to choose extra projects based on their changing outlooks and personal growth.

Solicit ideas from your employees in areas other their set role in the company. A creative solution to a customer’s complaint, a new viewpoint on mitigating risks, and innovative solutions to minimize waste are all examples of how you can develop offbeat and distinct ideas to improve your business processes.

During the hiring process, make note to recruit people with diverse backgrounds. Diversity in hiring and forming teams with people from different backgrounds can help employees develop better ways to overcome workflow challenges. Contrast in all forms can be a great generator of ideas.

Know your Employees

Not everyone works the same way. In order for people to become more creative in the workplace, you need to know what makes them tick. Some employees may develop an innovative streak through workshops and training exercises while others may require little or no encouragement for innovation.

Team leaders must know how to bring the best out in each member with just the right words or actions. Be helpful but not condescending.

Review your Internal Processes

Simply asking your employees to offer creative solutions is not enough. You also need to know if your internal processes are conducive to a creative environment. Are the managers following up on your ideas to build a creative place? Is red tape stifling your employees?

With just the right ideas, you can ensure that creativity and innovation are the norm in your workplace.

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