12 Ways to Inspire More Creativity Within Your Office
YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some more folks about cultivating a creative an optimistic workplace. Here are the responses.
What advice do you have to cultivate an optimistic and creative workplace?
1. Trust in Freedom With Guides
Creativity requires a balance of freedom, rules and trust. Too many rules can bog people down and make work feel like a race through quicksand: slow and counterproductive. Conversely, a lack of rules means a lack of guidelines and a potential for meaningless wandering. Give your team the tools they need and a strong understanding of their purpose. Trust them to succeed.
You can spark inspiration, optimism and creativity in many places. A great way to continue fueling that creativity is through a reading list with gems like “The Art of the Idea” by John Hunt, which describes how the surest way to free ourselves is through the power of our ideas. We are always updating the books in the office and encourage anyone to take them home or on vacation to recharge!
Clutter will create an atmosphere of disorganization and pessimism, but neat and tidy spaces carefully sprinkled with fun art, books or games will brighten up any workplace. Also, it’s important to have a quiet relaxation space where individuals can gather their thoughts and process creative ideas.
Create a team mentality where all departments are regarded with the same necessity. This level playing field lets everyone grasp their importance, keeping all optimistic and ready to work. The creativity comes from this harmony. When there’s no wrong question and everyone is comfortable to voice his or her thoughts, the collaboration begins. Problems become solutions and ideas become innovations.
It can be easy to forget to say, “Thank you,” “Good job, “ or “This was truly a team effort.” These simple words can go a long way to show your team they matter. When people know their work is appreciated, their creative juices come to life.
Optimism and creativity grow best outside of the cubicle, so anything that gets employees talking (enjoyably) outside of the office is a good place to start; like lunch activities, happy hours and company retreats.
Strive to create a culture where learning is rewarded. People get excited when they know that you want them to be the absolute best that they can. Commit to helping them get there and you will be rewarded with a great culture and valuable employees.
Always keep your door open to the ideas and conversation of your team. Literally leave your office door open so that your team feels comfortable approaching you, and figuratively always keep the “door” open for ideas, brainstorming, figuring out new ways of doing things and more. Employees will be optimistic and satisfied when they realize they are able to brainstorm elements of their role and take control.
As the leader, be the example of optimism and creativity to cultivate them in your workplace. While keeping your team members updated with your ideas, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to learn from them. Creating a positive association with the expression of ideas can put you on the right track to a more creative and optimistic team.
As a company evolves, creativity and innovation evolve with it. We must always keep in perspective that there is as much to unlearn as there is to relearn. Innovation is the spark that attracts initial hires to early stage companies. A company should remember its roots, have belief in its product, and instill confidence in its employees to constantly embrace transformative reinvention.
It begins during the hiring process. At BeenVerified, we make it our goal to hire unique, creative people who share in a positive vision for the company. Once you bring in people with unique ideas, listen to those ideas. Lastly, and most importantly, you need to actually implement the ideas instead of just giving them lip service.
It is critical to give your team real responsibility within their roles. People make mistakes. It’s critical to build an environment where, if team members make a blunder, they can learn from the issue and feel comfortable being transparent about any missteps. Founders must also lead by example. It’s humanizing to hear your boss say they have made a mistake.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective (http://businesscollective.com), a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
In the Social Age, it’s how we engage with customers, collaborators and strategic partners that matters; it’s how we create workplace optimism that sets us apart; it’s how we recruit, retain (and repel) employees that becomes our differentiator. This isn’t a “people first, profits second” movement, but a “profits as a direct result of putting people first” movement.