By Juan Pablo Ruiz, Creative Director & Melissa Noto, Graphic Artist. Ghostwriting/Editing by Shirley Mott.
Did you ever wonder why we see so many articles talking about employee dissatisfaction or un-motivated managers? Perhaps they’ve yet to learn the advantages of fostering creativity in the workplace. The 9-to-5 cubicle grind inherent in the traditional workplace doesn’t leave room for, or encourage, creativity.
Being creative at work generally means taking risks, which might make you hesitate. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing, especially when it means you might fail.
But here’s the thing: Creativity in the workplace is absolutely important. If you can apply creative thinking to your everyday work life, you’ll find that not only will the day stop feeling like drudgery, but you’ll be unlocking more meaningful results. And this doesn’t just go for employees, but for managers as well. In fact, managers have the ability to be the conductors of creativity in their staff. Sometimes it has to start from the top!
Add creativity to thinking and problem solving
As graphic designers, we love to make pretty spreadsheets and colorful PowerPoint presentations. But there is much more involved in workplace creativity: creative thinking and creative problem solving. Creative thinking is simple to define, but a bit harder to implement. Basically, if you’re a creative thinker, it means that you come up with ideas that are entirely unique.
It’s easy to come up with the same rote concepts for a project or a new campaign, especially if you’ve used them before. But if you embrace creativity and get a little daring, you may be surprised with what your brain can come up with.
Creative problem solving comes into play when trying to fix an issue that has many possible resolutions. While a lot of problems in the workplace have one or two clear solutions, creative people have the ability to look at all sides of the issues, and many times can come up with solutions that might be completely new and interesting.
The main benefits of creativity, in our opinion, include:
- Better teamwork and team bonding
- Increased workplace engagement and interaction
- Improved ability to attract and retain quality employees
- Increased staff morale, fun and happiness
- Increased workplace problem solving and productivity
Boost your workplace creativity
We’ve been talking about thinking creatively. But how can we encourage it? Think about your surroundings. Do they lend themselves to active creative thinking? Companies throughout out the world are building more creative workspaces. The vibe of the space itself is one reason many entrepreneurs and corporate teams are drawn to coworking spaces – they are designed not only for function, but to encourage creative thinking.
Look around your business. Is it clean, organized and decorated? Are there areas to eat, meet, relax?
- Bring nature inside: incorporate plants, windows, bright colors
- If it is pleasant inside, employees are less likely to be day-dreaming of being elsewhere
- Don’t forget to provide amenities in the break room: comfortable seating, tables and chairs for eating and meeting; make it bright and airy
Think about your meetings, too. Are they dull, lifeless? Why not up your creativity at meetings and conferences? Whether they’re in the office or elsewhere:
- Provide a theme
- Play games
- Set up challenges – perhaps challenge them to develop a game-plan for something they’ve always wanted to do
We challenge you to think creatively and come up with inspired ideas to motivate employees, exciting them with creative spaces, challenges and problem solving. We’ll bet you see an improvement in attitude, more original thought, and ultimately, improved productivity. Don’t forget to share your results!