To us, a graphic design agency based in Manchester,¬† creativity makes the world go round. Our team is full of creative graphic designers, so it's easy to see why keeping the creative flame lit is so important for our workplace. But what about the teams working in other industries that are less to do with directly creative tasks? Why is creativity just as important there?According to World Economic Forum, creativity was marked in the top 3 skills a person would need to be successful in 2020.[caption id="attachment_13313" align="aligncenter" width="700"]
Source: World Economic Forum[/caption]Experience too shows us that teams that can think creatively to solve problems and work together on projects produce great results, and will feel more fulfilled doing so. Edward de Bono explains it well when he said 'Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.' New, original and innovative ideas are born out of creativity, so more of it in your team will lead to better overall results.So if creativity can help to improve the results your team produces, and also the overall morale of your workforce, how can encourage more of it in your workplace?
There are a number of things you can do to boost creativity for your team, whether you work remotely or commute to an office. Heres 7 to get started with today...
1. Create an inspiring workspace
Creating an environment that inspires is an important way to boost creativity in the workplace. Whether it's from the pictures on the wall or using a bright colour scheme, putting time into creating an environment conducive to creativity will generate results later down the line. It's even better if you can get your team involved by asking for feedback with what they'd love to see in the office too, making a creative project your whole team can input into.
2. Encourage brainstorming
Brainstorming sessions are a really effective method to encourage creativity in the workplace. To encourage brainstorming, consider setting time aside for dedicated brainstorm sessions to discuss ideas for upcoming projects. Having a general theme will guide the brainstorming session and help produce more useful results. For the best results, make sure to always be open and accepting to all ideas without harsh criticism so as not to discourage your team from freely expressing themselves.
3. Give your team space to share ideas
Following up from the point to spend time on brainstorming, to support those brainstorming sessions make sure that your team has a space to share ideas. Some suggestions for this include whiteboards, memo pads, glass-safe markers for any internal windows of your office, or even just shared documents online. For those of you working remotely, why not have a dedicated slack channel for sharing inspirational thoughts or ideas?
4. Allow time for individual skill improvement
The best teams are made up of individuals committed to self-improvement in their own roles, so it's great to support that attitude wherever you can. When individuals in the team have time to polish up on skills they need to further progress on projects, the team can work together more efficiently. So, why not let your team take the time whenever possible to have dedicated time for improving their skills? You can also support this by providing training and resources when needed.
5. Make kind criticism a practice
Building a creative culture in your workplace means that you have to be open to ideas, so it's important to keep working to build an environment where everyone feels confident to express their ideas without being judged harshly. Of course, criticism is a key part of working as a team and coming up with workable ideas, but it's good to keep in mind that being kind with how you criticise the ideas of your team is crucial.
6. Listen to suggestions
Similar to the previous point, make sure that team leaders in the business actively accept and encourage team suggestions! This is also a great way to improve communication between the the team and in term generate more creativity in the workplace. You can encourage feedback sharing and suggestions as simply as asking on a team call what the team think could be improved.
7. Offering flexible working arrangements
Through the pandemic, the importance of being flexible with working arrangements became evident. If your team is back in the office, how can you still offer flexibility that improves the creativity of your team? If possible, provide a few options for workspaces that suit different people. For example a collaborative area where those who like to work together can sit, as well as more private areas for when your team need to concentrate by themselves. By allowing for different working arrangements as much as possible, you're giving your team the freedom they need to be creative.
8. Collect feedback from new team member
Whenever a new person joins your team, you have a great opportunity to ask for feedback from someone with absolutely fresh eyes on your business and brand. Those working for your business for a long period of time may have become accustomed to processes that in actuality, could do with an update. By asking new team members for feedback after their first week of how things went, you're getting invaluable information that could help your boost morale and creativity for your existing team members and you're setting a precedent that your team leaders are always open to listen to helpful suggestions.Whichever methods you choose to implement to boost creativity in your team, the fact that you are actively looking for ways to do that is really commendable. As a graphic design agency, creativity is at the heart of what we do and we really love to hear and see how other businesses are dedicated to maintaining creativity too. We hope this blog helps to inspire your new creativity-boosting strategy, and for more like this check out the rest of our blog.