Most adults are children at heart. We make our purchases based on pretty packaging and eye-catching designs. We are captivated by those with comedic personalities. And, to be honest, we would much rather spend our days doodling on notepads or coming up with various ways to make life more interesting.
While our unapologetic habits and preferences may seem a bit irresponsible, as natural visionaries, we are much happier and even more productive when we are able to indulge in our guilty pleasures. This is why incorporating creativity at work is a must for business owners looking to both retain their employees and see their establishments rise to everlasting success.
Yet, for the typical leader, managing and developing creative talent can be a frustrating task in its initial stages. Here is what you need to know to get the best out of the innovators that make up your workplace and cultivate a great environment for your creative employees to thrive.
Don’t get caught up on titles
If you want to lose out on invaluable creative input, only heed the advice of those in leadership roles. Not only will your company be left at a severe disadvantage, but it will probably be left shorthanded as well.
One study reported that those who felt heard and recognized at work were 4.6 times more likely to put in their best effort. So, it’s safe to say that disenchanting your employees will only hurt you in the end. Keep in mind that most workers have no problem with giving respect to a hierarchy, but they don’t want to feel rejected, silenced, or undervalued in the process.
The only way forward is to build a connected team and cultivate a culture of communication. Do this by holding frequent meetings, treating everyone’s ideas and opinions with equal respect, and leaving your personal biases on mute.
When you encourage every single individual to speak up, you will have the honor of working with those with various backgrounds and experiences, putting you in the position to gain alternate angles and a few backup plans in case of a wrong turn.
A win for the company is a win for all, and each and every voice counts.
Create a space where employees can thrive
Imagine trying to take notes on a history lecture with an infant screaming in your ear. That is exactly how creative minds feel when they are expected to produce in an environment that disrupts their flow.
Creativity can only flourish when the tone and makeup of a workplace are just right. AA recent UK study further proves this by finding that 77% of workers perform better in a flexible work environment. The overall look of your workspace matters too.
If you want your workstation to be the breeding spot where magic happens, you will have to do some heavy rearranging, starting with swapping out the cubicles for an open floor plan. The clear space will be greatly appreciated, as would a window view and refreshing decorations, like a bit of greenery.
Choosing the right designs to appease everyone’s tastes may not be as easy as it sounds, but chances are the vast majority of your staff probably already have a knack for transforming settings to meet their preferences.
Another thing to remember about these out-of-the-box thinkers is that they usually come up with their best concepts when they are away from their desks, especially when immersed in the fresh air. Allow your workers time to step away from their desks and change their scenery. This not only gives them a necessary boost of inspiration, but it helps to alleviate the stress that can accumulate during day-to-day tasks.
Develop their Skills
Ruling over those who generate million-dollar ideas without much effort can be as testing as attempting to tame a herd of lions. These individuals are clever to their core and often embody the confidence to match, making them undeniable forces to reckon with.
When supervising employees with a creative charge, view your role as more of a developer versus a manager. Taking this approach will not undermine your authority, but it will, however, allow you to be able to delegate without silencing everyone else’s voice while being receptive to the different perspectives at your company.
While creative workers are naturally their own bosses to an extent, they still need to be challenged on a regular basis in order to strengthen their skills and uphold their value. This is not just for the employer’s benefit, it’s a personal requirement as well. Korn Ferry found that out of 5,000 professionals, a whopping 33% of them wanted to leave their jobs because they were bored with their positions. And while this statistic may not seem super alarming to some, it is one to take seriously as job-hopping has become the norm in today’s society.
Keeping creative employees in the game will ultimately mean sharing your power by trusting others to do the footwork. Make it a practice to share a vision, and challenge your workers to bring it to life. You can even assign project managers and more specialized roles to create higher levels of accountability. As their responsibilities grow, so will their ability to take on greater tasks.
Catering to a group of creators isn’t for the faint-hearted. But when it is all said and done, being privileged enough to work around those with such profound gifts is just as rewarding as sitting on a gold mine.