anyspacedirect news

5 steps to improving creativity amongst staff

21th June 2010
Ideas are the fuel that increases productivity, keeps motivation high and keeps businesses innovative, which is ever more important as competition for market share increases. Yet many companies wish their staff could be more creative and put ideas forward that could be discussed – many have tried to get employees talking and discussing more but this can quickly result in disappointment if the results required are not achieved.

However, increasing creativity amongst staff is not impossible; it just requires a mix of the right techniques at the right time to foster natural motivation.

Provide the right tools
Pens, paper, whiteboards, freethinking time, regular meetings – these all foster an inclusive atmosphere and encourage staff to put their ideas forward for everyone to discuss. Meetings are particularly important as it provides a separate place for staff to think freely and inclusively – this can sometimes be too hard to do informally around workstations or in a lunch hour.

Encourage and praise

People like to think their ideas make a difference, so make sure senior management figures talk to staff directly about ideas and request feedback whenever possible. Praising staff on good ideas not only validates their work but encourages them to reach even higher limits and increase the potency of ideas put across to management.

Provide sustenance
Staff cannot think clearly on an empty stomach, let alone think creatively and analytically. Fresh fruit is a great way to both encourage the overall health of your employees (leading to productivity improvements) and also give them the energy needed to come up with new ideas. A plentiful supply of cold water in the chiller also keeps hydration levels up, essential if employees are to concentrate effectively.

Take part yourself
Staff need to think their ideas will make a difference, so don’t let them ponder new ideas and then ask them to tell you over lunch. Dedicate resources to assessing and analysing their ideas – not only will you get more out of them but they’ll be more inclined to come up with even better ideas to impress you with.

Feedback is important
If an idea gets put through to the development phase ensure the staff members responsible are kept informed of the entire process and kept on board to help nurture the idea if possible. Rewards – such as flexible working time or performance-related bonuses – also help foster the right kind of environment.
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