Creativity isn’t often at the top of people’s lists in the workplace, but it’s an important asset for any business. When you face an obstacle, it’s creativity that lets you find a solution.
As a business owner, it’s in your best interest to encourage creativity in your employees. However, it can be difficult to do so in a corporate environment. How can you nurture creativity in your work force?
Be Open to Mistakes
First of all, understand that when you open the doors to trying new things, there’s bound to be a few mistakes. While mistakes can cause problems if they’re major, they’re also learning opportunities.
As a leader, you should make sure that mistakes are rectified and parties take responsibility when appropriate, but don’t demonize misunderstandings or accidents. Doing so makes people afraid to think outside the box or try something new, which is a sure-fire way to squash creativity.
Give Constructive Feedback
Feedback is necessary to grow, but its delivery determines how effective it is. Criticism without any positives or constructive points can be detrimental to the creative thought process because it inspires fear of judgement. Fear is the antithesis of creativity; instead of opening people’s minds to new solutions, it shuts them down. Any time someone is being creative, they’re making themselves vulnerable. If they’re ridiculed for their ideas, they won’t be eager to take the risk again.
Focus on What You Can Do Instead of What You Can’t
When you’re facing a problem, it can be easy to settle into negatives — this won’t work, you can’t do that. This is self-defeating, since you need to focus on what you can do to find a solution.
Every enterprise has its limitation, but instead of thinking of them as obstacles, encourage employees to consider them challenges to be overcome. It’s when you can’t take the easy path that you find a truly innovative way to move forward.
Creativity and imagination are muscles that need exercise; just like the physical body, if you only work some parts and not others, you’ll get off-balance. Encourage employees to be creative in all aspects of their jobs, not just when they encounter a problem. By thinking outside the box, people may identify future issues before they manifest or come up with more efficient processes.
Put in an Effort To Communicate
One of the most important things you can do as an employer is to keep communication lines open. Make sure you explain your thinking to your team when you make a decision and listen to others when they explain their own trains of thought.