Growing a company is a complicated process, which requires a multi-faceted approach as well as investment in the right areas. But there’s a qualitative element to any company’s growth which can cause issues if ignored: creativity. Creativity and innovation are the qualities that help a business navigate market shifts and new challenges – and often these qualities can be hampered by existing cultures or workplace processes. But how can you cultivate creativity in your workforce?
The evils of micro-management are already well-documented, but even basic decisions on how a given employee’s day is structure could be hampering their creativity. There are many ways to skin a cat, and charting a course for more innovation in your workplace could mean letting go of systems that seem reasonable. Allowing employees to freedom and fluidity to explore their own work day, and intuit new ways to approach their workload can inspire new, oblique strategies – and return that spark to your team in the process.
Address Your Environment
There’s also a lot to be said for the effect your workspace can have on creativity. Uninspiring environments will engender uninspired workers – the most notable example being the cubicle farm, an office concept that has been thoroughly outmoded for some time owing to its effects on productivity and mental health.
Open plan offices have been de rigeur in recent years, with the natural light, collaborative working environment and sense of space all helping employees feel a little that bit more comfortable – but not every business can afford to upend their operation and move to an accommodating environment. Your premises are a valuable investment, even if merely rental property; using a secured business loan to upgrade your workspace can pay dividends in innovation, productivity and growth.
Just as the physical environment can foster innovation, so too can investment in the company culture itself. By encouraging employees to form productive and convivial relationships with one another, and by encouraging constructive relationships between departments and management, you can ensure a more comfortable staff cohort.
Fostering a sense of community within the company during work hours can be pursued in many ways; creating transparent communications channels are an inexpensive and strong way to do this. Team building days with scheduled activities are another tool that can be harnessed for this purpose. Members of the team who don’t usually interact can get to know each other and make relationships easier once an opportunity to work together comes. Other activities can be planned outside the working hours for those who are willing to join, for this reason creating a social committee to plan fun nights out or team volunteering days is definitely a good idea!
Lastly, many of your employees are in their specific role due to a passion of theirs. Cultivating this passion can create new opportunities for creativity, as you give employees the tools and space to utterly immerse themselves in a practice, process or idea. Training and development programmes are one way to do this, while regular free time and group sessions can allow employees to break out and explore new ideas together.