Whether you’re preparing your team for a creative project, or generally want to encourage a little more creative spark in the workplace, these tips will inspire everyone.
Creativity isn’t a trait that is solely reserved for those working in creative industries. Whatever the subject matter of your work, creativity can bring about original ideas that lead to long-term business success. Allowing teams to be creative can also be energising and fulfilling for employees.
Here are six ways to help your team become more creative.
1. Give People Creative Space
Experiencing time pressures to deliver day-to-day work can be the antithesis to creativity, so it’s important employees find some thinking space. One way to achieve this is by having an inspiring and relaxing break-out room in the office, with comfortable sofas, bright rugs, books and games. Encouraging staff to get away from their desks to go there every now and again gives people the headspace to feel revived and think creatively. Actively promoting flexible working opportunities and lunch hours also helps employees feel more in control of their time, which can also spark creative thinking.
2. Get Outside
Fresh air and natural light can be truly inspiring, so mix things up every once in a while and get your team outside the office. This could be to have a team catch-up in the local park or in an open-air café. Or instead of trying to brainstorm in the office, go for a 30 minute stroll to discuss ideas instead – being on your feet helps people feel invigorated and ready to share their thoughts. If the weather isn’t in your favour, it’s still worth getting out of the office from time-to-time, so find a bright and quirky café or local arts centre for occasional team meetings instead.
3. Team Building with a Difference
Getting the team doing something totally different is a great way to infuse colleagues with energy and creative flair. Plan a team building away-day where the day kicks off with an energising activity, which could be anything from a treasure hunt to dragon-boat racing. Getting people working together as a team on a fun challenge is a brilliant way to start the day on a high. If you need to get some work done too, this is a great time to have a brainstorming session or plan a new project. Treat the team again afterwards – for example with lunch or an afternoon at the horse races – to make sure people go back into the office feeling energised the next day too.
4. Cross-Pollination of Ideas
Creating opportunities for team members to work with other teams and individuals across an organisation can be a brilliant way to drive a creative culture. Create working groups for company-wide projects or develop thematic groups where participants are tasked with planning specific social events. Giving employees the chance to work with people they don’t come into contact with day-to-day can harness new energy in a workplace, bringing creativity with it.
5. Involve Everyone
To develop a genuinely creative culture in a workplace, it’s important to make every single member of staff feel involved. As such, it’s crucial to engineer opportunities for creativity that suit different personality types. As well as brainstorming sessions and away days, also have an ideas board in the office where people can add post-it notes of their ideas for the business. There should be no rules here, so people could add ideas about an area of innovation a company should be involved in as well as what kind of coffee they would like to see stocked in the kitchen!
6. Access to Innovators
Sometimes creative inspiration needs to come from outside an organisation. A brilliant way of inspiring employees is to initiate contact with people who can share their experiences and vision. This could be done by inviting inspiring speakers into the workplace for lunchtime talks or post-work seminars, where you could also serve drinks and nibbles. In addition, encourage employees to visit people who work in related fields in other organisations. Seeing how other people work and what they’re working on can be an excellent creative driving force.
Companies who actively promote a creative culture enjoy a more engaged workforce and elevated business success too. Get involved in some of these creative practices and you’ll start to reap the rewards.