Creativity fosters innovation which is a catalyst for business growth and success. It comes in the form of creating dynamic products, implementing new ideas, and adapting to the ever-changing marketplace. Having creative, well-spirited employees will certainly keep your business ahead of the curve.
Here are 8 ways your HR team can promote creativity among your employees:
1. Allow more flexible schedule
More companies (including Google) are giving their employees the freedom to work to their own schedule. Some even allow their staff to work offsite. Why? It turns out, a flexible schedule makes employees happier and more productive. They also achieve more and - contrary to what many might think - work longer hours.
Instead of locking employees up in a 9-5 timeframe, giving them the freedom to work at their preferred schedule will help them achieve better work-life balance. As a result, they’re more energetic and motivated.
2. Spruce up your space
You’ve probably heard of this already; the work environment impacts employee performance.
Offices are not just places for official business functions like documenting, researching, computing, or answering customer queries. They’re also 'think tanks.’
Upgrading your space doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a renovation job. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. Think open spaces, communal work areas, modern furniture, standing desks, and vivid colors.
3. Promote knowledge sharing
Many organizations support communities where employees can share best practices, seek guidance from their peers, and try to solve problems as a group.
Offering a space for knowledge sharing is a great way to foster creativity among your employees. Some companies do it through activities like town halls and group lunches where everyone can discuss work-related matters more openly.
4. Empower your employees
Empowering employees is allowing them to make their own decisions. Continuously challenging your staff by delegating essential tasks or projects and giving them full control over them will drive motivation, which in turn boosts workplace creativity.
Additionally, empowering employees also mean recognizing the value they bring to your business. All these are fundamental to keeping them engaged and enthusiastic.
5. Make work fun
At Google, employees are allowed to write on tables and walls, something that we’re all taught not to do at a young age. At Warby Parker, fun lunches, events and programs are regularly held to give employees something to look forward to. At Twitter, employees enjoy rooftop meetings and yoga classes. Meanwhile, at Chevron, employees are provided health-oriented programs such as massages and personal training.
“Work hard, play harder”, they say. Injecting fun in a rather serious job stimulates new ideas. But you don’t need to go all the way like these giant companies to promote a fun environment. Simple things like allowing employees to stroll in the office freely, see what their colleagues are up to, or creating a chat room where employees can talk about unrelated things like sports, hobbies, and interests can surely make work more fun and enjoyable.
6. Implement an employee-driven feedback process
HR can also implement a process where employees are given timely and helpful feedback. This is critical to improving performance, promoting personal and professional development, and defusing conflicts even before they happen.
What’s more, employee-driven feedback is a great tool for driving engagement. Remember that feedback isn’t just about helping an employee improve, it’s also an opportunity to recognize employees for their great work.
Research shows that 72% of employees rank recognition as the biggest factor that makes them engaged at work. In short, feedback creates a workforce of empowered employees. However, while the HR team is responsible for kick-starting a continual feedback process within the organization, its success depends on the managers and employees embracing it.
7. Continue to challenge employees
Soliciting their ideas and suggestions challenges employees to think outside the box. Encourage them to keep looking for ways to improve the way they approach work. Ask them what works and what doesn’t. This doesn’t have to be in a very formal session. For example, you can place “idea jars” throughout your office to encourage employees to suggest ideas anonymously. Help them grow via training, conferences, and classes. And facilitate collective brainstorming. With these strategies, you can maintain a stimulating work environment.
8. Reward creativity
Lastly, don’t forget to reward your employees for their creativity. If someone comes up with a brilliant idea, be sure to recognize that person. Public validation lets other people know how your company values creativity and innovation. However, don’t punish employees for failing to come up with creative ideas.