5 Ways to Foster Creativity at Work

If you want your team to be more successful, then you need to create a creative work environment. Creativity is very important to organizations that want to solve new problems, fix current ones and be innovative in their industry. A report by Overbury of 2,000 employees found that 59 percent felt that development of new ideas is vital to their companies. In addition, 52 percent of offices were lacking common or social areas, and 50 percent agreed that their company would be more profitable if employees were able to be more creative. 33 percent feel like they lack the opportunity to collaborate. I hear from a lot of employees that they feel stuck and can’t concentrate because of their technology use, meetings that distract them and managers who don’t know how to best collaborate with them. Here are several tips for organizations who want to foster creativity:

1. Use the power of brainstorming.

By encouraging your employees to brainstorm, you are collecting new ideas while making sure that all of their voices are heard. Hold regular sessions where employees take turns sharing ideas that they’ve thought of. Jot down all the ideas and then hash them out as a group to come up with a list of the best ones that make the most sense for your corporate objectives. One way to brainstorm is to create a mind map of the problem where you can select a main topic and the subtopics underneath it. This is a great way to find the route of the problem you’re trying to solve. Another way to brainstorm is to force yourself to write for a period of time without stopping. This will push ideas out of you. Finally, you can brainstorm effectively by taking breaks and removing yourself from the office.

2. Create diverse teams.

In order to create a diverse environment, you need to focus on people. Assemble a group of employees who don’t usually collaborate, who have a different set of strengths and weaknesses and who come from different backgrounds. Make sure that everyone on the team has equal say and input into the project. By doing this, your employees will be able to learn from each other and bring more to the table than if you had a group of like-minded individuals.

3. Reward great ideas.

Let your team vote on the best ideas that come out of your brainstorming sessions. You can even give the winner a prize as an incentive for employees to put more thought into their ideas. The team has to know that their ideas are going to matter, which is why you should invest in the best idea if it makes sense for the company and you have the budget for it. The team will work harder if they know they are causing change and that they can potentially bring their idea to market.

4. Give them big open spaces.

Create an open and spacious environment so your team is relaxed by removing as much clutter as possible. Have your employees vote on the type of environment they want to be in. Some might want classical music playing while others may prefer a minimalist approach. In any scenario, the important thing is that employees feel good while working and can concentrate on the task at hand. Cubicles won’t create a collaborative environment, so try and avoid those if at all possible.

5. Make sure your management supports creativity.

Your employees will take risks if they know that you support them. If they know their ideas won’t be considered, then they won’t try to come up with them and no change will take place. You need to show that highly creativity people are more valuable and employable if you want people to take it seriously and act on it. Don’t penalize employees for taking risks and thinking outside of the box – embrace it!

What are some ways you’ve created a creative workplace?








Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm. His new book, a New York Times best seller, is called Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin's Press) and his previous book, Me 2.0, was a #1 international bestseller.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedIn