6 Tips to Stimulate your employee’s creativity

October 1, 2018

In Management & Organizational Performance

creative employees having ideas

Creativity, the ability to create a new concept from elements known to solve a problem, is becoming increasingly essential in business.

Creativity is at the heart of innovation; it allows your teams to create new ideas and get ahead of competition. But since it is difficult to measure, it has long been neglected by several managers. After all, how do you manage creativity?

Here are six tips to help your employees innovate and make your business a real creative incubator.

1. Give Your Employees Autonomy

Avoid forcing your employees to fulfill the simple role of executing the managers’ ideas. In the long run, a management model where success is too dependent on the same creative brains is likely to run out of steam. To see fresh ideas emerge in your business, you need to distribute creative responsibility both horizontally and vertically.

2. Encourage Collaboration

To stimulate teamwork, you need to define team spirit as an indicator of success in your business. Recognize the work of employees who are generous with their colleagues on a daily basis, and those who show humility. Employees looking to reap all the merit have no place in a collaborative and creative work environment.

3. Promote Diversity

Diversity – of points of view, origins, and approaches – is an excellent source of creativity. When training your teams, be sure to bring together people from different backgrounds: men with women, younger with older, introverts with extroverts, new with experienced, etc.

Each of these individuals will be more likely to address the problems in a unique way. This joyful mix will allow your teams to see the same problem in all its different aspects to achieve more original solutions.

4. Give the Time and Resources Needed to Develop Creative Ideas

A creative idea is not generated at the snap of your fingers. It can take time to hatch. In the first phase, your employees must have time to get inspired and look for ideas related to the problem to be solved. This is the preparation period.

After this follows a period of incubation, where the different elements of the puzzle try to get in place. It is only during the third phase, enlightenment, that the solution is born. The only thing left to do is to analyze the idea to assess its feasibility.

In order for your employees to be able to think up great ideas, it is important to respect the space and time required for each of these steps.

5. Foster a “Failure Culture”

Your employees must feel comfortable sharing their ideas without fear of being humiliated or being “put in their place”. You need to make it clear to your employees that failure is a useful and crucial process for developing new and creative ideas. Encourage them to ask questions, to be bold and to make mistakes.

6. Highlight the Mission Behind the Project

Your employees need to feel that they are part of a whole bigger than themselves, that they are involved in achieving a goal that aligns with their values.

  •  Nike does not sell shoes, it helps athletes surpass themselves.
  •  Airbnb does not rent apartments, it provides an authentic experience for the traveler.

Remind your employees of the mission that brings you together to motivate them to find original solutions.

Here are a few techniques to generate creative ideas:

  • Mindmapping: write down all the ideas that come to mind, without exception and connect them to each other.
  • Lists: make lists of items in the same family.
  • Brainstorm: bring together a few people with different perspectives and encourage everyone to take to the floor to share their ideas in a fair way.
  • Change of perspective: slip into another person’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective.

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