Creativity is must in today’s eco-system. While employees are ready to give their best in a workplace, they crave for an organization that promotes creativity and provides the freedom to experiment. A lot of entrepreneurs and managers argue that creativity is an individual’s skill, but not many realise that it is also an outcome of the right conditions set forth by the organization. From flexible HR policies to brainstorming sessions, there’s a lot that employers can do to engender creativity in the workplace. The ambience you create is important for getting your team in the creative zone of mind space, but the actions and decisions that you take as an employer or a team leader also plays a crucial role in the creative quotient of your team and affects the morale and output.
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Now comes the moment of truth – if you don’t see many people coming up with innovative solutions in your organization, chances are that your current work culture is sabotaging your employee’s creativity, thereby negatively impacting your company’s sustainability goals. Here are some factors that you need to consider:
It’s a common practice in various organizations to divide the workforce into departments and make them function in seclusion. There might be a clear distinction between the design team and the marketing team in an office. But such bifurcations can only remind one of the assembly lines in the factory where there is no creativity flowing whatsoever.
How to fix it: Try something different from the traditional way of working. Allow different departments to interact with each other, and allow people from varied perspectives and experiences to put their point of view forward. Allow your employees to get inspired by others. This will get you some really innovative ideas along with a much needed creative push in the work atmosphere.
Creativity flourishes when it is accompanied by a certain level of independence, which in turn gives you an innovative and involved output and a loyalty towards your organisation. Instead of telling your team members what they have to specifically work on, let them take the initiative. Create a work environment where mistakes are not feared but seen as obstacles that need to be crossed to reach the desired end goal. Encourage them to see that failure is not the end of the road but a means to start again with a new thought and approach. Share with them the vision of the company and what you are looking for in a certain project, and then let them come up with solutions and pitches. Be available to them as a mentor. If they get stuck somewhere, be there to guide them through, but let them take the first step on their own.
A team becomes a team with its members. A team stands for a joint effort. A team is not a single individual but more like a family. As a team leader, you would want your team to work together. So by rewarding an individual, you create emotions of competition in a place where there should be emotions of harmony. Encourage collaboration between team members. Make them understand the value and joy of finding a solution together rather than being in a race. Let them understand each other’s strengths and work on each other’s weaknesses together.
As a team leader, there is no room for ego and a biased attitude from your end. You have to be equal to every team member and keep your personal opinions and grudges at bay. In a professional setup, if you let your personal judgement dominate your opinions, you will end up sabotaging your team’s morale to no end. Your feedback has to be purely based on the work and how it can be taken a step ahead.
Your team can get home the success you desire. Get to know them and their creative strengths, and give them autonomy over their creative capabilities. Allow them to fall once every now and then and learn from each other. Share experiences, conduct open forums and encourage them to apply the learning in a beneficial manner. Here are some resources that can boost your creativity in your organization. Let us know what you think about them.