Do you remember a time when creativity used to be an alternative profession or a hobby? Well it is no more. To face the tough challenges coming from your competitors in this fast moving contemporary world, your workplace should overflow with creativity and people who are creative. As a leader, do you encourage or identify this characteristic in people working under you? The answer should be a definite YES. If it is a NO, read on and reconsider how you approach this crucial aspect of modern workplaces.
Set them free and allow them to ask questions
Develop a culture where employees seek diverse viewpoints and stay open and curious. Your organisation can benefit a lot from regular and timely brainstorming. Any individual has their own self-doubts and shyness, AND (brilliant) ideas. Brainstorming will make them understand that every one of them has their own field of expertise and their own way of thinking. This will also make them feel ‘important’ in the organisation’s context, thus increasing their bond towards the team and the organisation. Don’t you think this will boost their confidence?
Seniority structures should disappear during such sessions (if not permanently). Do not allow anyone to pass judgment on any idea or any form of thinking. Understand that team members are coming from different backgrounds and different levels of hierarchy, with varying strengths and weaknesses, viewpoints, skills as well as life experiences. You should not prejudice in any of these categories. Always make sure that you do job rotation wherever possible – and especially, when required – because your employees need to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand what they go through and also understand that it is beautiful to be diverse.
Note: Diversity, however, is a very broad area and it can help a lot more than merely fostering a culture of innovation. Refer the Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit prepared by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) – Sri Lanka to know how you could build a great workplace for all.
Be supportive and reward innovative thinking
Do you know that the environment you’re working has a huge impact on innovations and creative thinking? Hence if you expect the team to be innovative, always make sure that you reward, appreciate and encourage innovations. These need not be limited to innovative sales strategies or similar business improvements. Any innovative deed in the day-to-day work environment that makes life easier should be appreciated, which will encourage them to do it more often.
Make their knowledge grow
You can make your employees knowledgeable about a lot of things. First of all, it is vital for them to know how the company works. Helping your employees develop and increase the knowledge base of the company could contribute to helping them to create, innovate, and envision alternative solutions. Not only about the company, they will have to be updated on the field they’re working on, the newest trends of the globe as well as their common sense and other abilities to put up with the changing world. Encourage your people to read and follow your industry related blogs, websites like Diriya.lk and business magazines etc. and if possible, online courses available on e-Learning portals such as Lynda.com, Udemy, Coursera and Guru.lk. It is important that your employees’ knowledge and understanding are not only limited to their own silos but they do understand their peers’ work as well.
Does it look like a big deal?
When you keep working the way you always have, there’s no way to take risks and find new ways to execute tasks, which eliminates the possibility of creativity in the workplace. Hence no matter how hard it is for you to get used to these tips, it is a best practice to follow if you expect your company to grow.