A lot can be said for a good idea. Some companies have to pay third parties for creative concepts. Others have too much red tape around employees which means creative ideas end up falling between the cracks. It can be especially hard for leaders and employees to be innovative at this time of the year when most of us struggle just to get out of bed in the morning. But use these 10 ways to inspire creativity in the workplace and you'll have stockpiles of ideas stored ready to employ:
10. Get Out Of The Office
Get out and work remotely. Nothing will inspire employees more than a change of scenery. Even if it means them staying in their pjs all day, they'll be happier if they get to change it up from time to time. It also instills a level of trust between leaders and employees. And we all know people work harder when they're given more responsibility.
9. Meet Mentors
Turning to new sources is a vital part of coming up with new ideas. Have 2-3 people who you can trust, admire and get invaluable advice off. Mentoring is the difference between a promising businessperson and a successful one. Success is borne from hard work and tough grafting but its totally okay to ask for advice or help too.
8. Have An Open Forum
We have a work Whatsapp group. Its not strictly work but it's a great way for us to communicate after work in a social sense, share funny links we've come across and have a bit of banter. It doesn't have to be Whatsapp either, an open forum can come in the form of Hipchat or Slack but it's something I'd encourage. They build morale, team confidence and is an easy way for people to get to know each other. The less uptight an employee the more the creative juices will flow!
7. Ask New Employees For Ideas
There's no better opportunity than a fresh set of eyes and ears. Everyone starts new jobs with super ideas because they've only scratched the surface. Tap into their ideas and let them know their valued from day 1- they'll never feel scared to express their opinions or ideas.
6. Rethink Office Layout
Does the current setup encourage or discourage innovation? If your type of work involves having to come up with creative ideas then sitting in front of a grey partitiion wall certainly isn't going to inspire you. Do you have a 'breakout' area/ couch area for people to chill out on or somewhere you can have casual meetings (not around a boardroom)? We changed our desk layout for the third time in 6 months there last week, sitting beside different people can make all the difference.
5. Have Job Swap Days
If everyone in your establishment understands each other's roles through and through then you've more of a chance of having a successful business. Not only does this help everyone understand the purpose of different roles it also might inspire person A to see how person B could do things differently. It is also a great way to expand your skill set, is very cheap, cheerful and a quick way to learn your way around the business. The debrief from this exercise is the most important.
4. Encourage Everyone To Read
Make it a habit to share links, articles, and how to's with co-workers and employees. There are thousands of successful companies that share the same business model as yours so read interviews, stats and whatever info you can get your hands on. Its a great way to keep everyone on the same path, mission and be up to date with industry insights.
3. Schedule Brainstorming Sessions
Its something we do 2-3 times a week. There's absolutely no point in sitting there tapping your pen, scouring the internet for hours and wasting time. Get the team together for a quick 30 minute brainstorm. There are loads of brainstorming techniques out there but I think this is the best, easiest guide to follow.
2. Take More Photos
Get team members to take and share more photos, be it in your Whatsapp group or other platforms. It gets everyone thinking about work (in a good way) outside of work hours and this provides new perspectives and boosts banter levels.
1. Humour Is Everything
Can't hammer this home more. Humour is the key to spurring on creativity. Just like when you're socialising, if you're too serious you're not going to be happy or attract the right type of ideas. Humour is a catalyst for creative ideas.