The Benefits of Encouraging Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace

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Creativity is essential for any organization if you want to keep your business moving forward.

There are numerous organizations that have designed a cool, funky, creative environment for their employees to help them relax and spark creative thinking to get their projects moving forward.

Some organizations go as far as having regular brainstorming sessions when working on a project to allow employees to contribute and build on a project. This creates immense engagement as their team members have a say and they are involved in the creative process.

Just by supporting open-mindedness, setting up an inspirational environment and offering the right rewards, you can get the creative juices of your team members flowing like never before.

Thinking outside of the box can work wonders

Why is it so important to broaden mental horizons? Thinking outside of the box generates excitement, passion and creativity. Additionally, teamwork is oftentimes essential when coming up with outstanding ideas and solutions, as two heads are better that one. We perform better when we collaborate and when we look at the number one human need that activates the heart, it is connection.

When you look at it from a decision-making perspective, imagine how many ideas and decisions you can collect from putting together a creative environment where people actually are encouraged to think on their own two feet. Treat your team members like the creative human beings they are, listen to their point of view and support them in developing their imaginations. Feed creativity by asking questions and build your ideas with the help of insight from others.

To create big ideas, you have to create the space and encourage that sort of behavior and culture. If you want your teams to think creatively, you need to motivate them with some form of reward.

Dopamine, curiosity and creativity

When exposed to a reward stimulus, your brain responds by increasing a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine that is well known for its role in movement, motivation and pleasure.

Bring it on! Your teams will magically come up with creative ways of improving the workplace, fostering imagination and solving problems. Increasing one’s imagination creates possibilities and can enable a person to pursue and accomplish many great goals.

Creativity also increases curiosity that drives the desire to learn. It opens up the mind to unexplored paths. Can you imagine a workplace now without encouraged creativity?

Related: 4 Creative Ways to Motivate Your Employees

Start solving your problems by encouraging creativity

If creativity is fueled by passion, then you need to focus on honing individual talents in order to express creativity and have your employees reach their fullest potential. A lack of such action is how employees become disengaged from any organization. They don’t feel valued because the organization is not using their talents and strengths; they become bored and always feel tired.

If you want happy, productive and prized members in your team, you need to start igniting their creativity to get them motivated.

Here are some examples to get started:

Creative environment: first, create an environment that encourages creativity. You could decorate one area of your office with some nice, bright colors and designate that area to your employees, giving your team some sense of ownership
Work hard, play harder: allow your team to play. You can have colored markers, flip charts, Lego, play dough, paint, music and anything that sparks the creative process during brainstorm sessions
Brainstorming: set a fortnightly meeting where you can brainstorm and work on a problem or project. This gives your team the right intention before entering your meeting
Goal board: create a board where you have goals or strategies that your company is striving for and each week you can focus on one goal or problem to solve or work on
Homework and teamwork: you may give your team some pre-work where you have one agenda for the meeting and they all have to come into this meeting with one suggestion or solution to your goal or problem
Reward creativity: of course, this followed with a reward for the best suggestion or solution that your team is all agreed upon. This is just as important as the implementation of the suggestion or idea
Establish engaging rewards: incentive could be movie tickets, a bottle of wine, a Thai massage, a voucher or money. You could even go a step further and have a board to acknowledge and encourage creative thinking

What can management gain from creativity in the workplace?

Developing a creative culture takes time and it begins with management, being more open-minded and less judgmental to the suggestions of their team. Patience is a virtue; you need to allow time for your team members to develop their creativity in the organization and to put their ideas together to find optimum solutions.

Most leaders are expected to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to organizational problems. However, by cultivating and utilizing the creative abilities of your team, it is likely to produce an even more prosperous selection of creative ideas and solutions to organizational problems.

Do you know why? We all think differently. A diverse group collectively possesses knowledge and a variety of perspectives; this goes back to why two heads are better than one.

The benefits of creativity in the workplace are countless; here are just a few examples of the amazing results you will experience:

Increased engagement
Increased interaction
Increased staff morale
Increased passion
Increased motivation
Increased problem solving
Increased productivity
Increased team bonding and collaboration

Encourage a mindset of continuous learning, creative thinking and increased innovation and you will in turn increase your chances of retaining quality, committed people and creating an engaging workplace.

Originally published March 9, 2017.

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