Creativity is the driving force behind all successful companies. You can only copy another business’s product/service for so long, at which point sales will begin to dwindle. It’s only when you take the initiative to create something unique that establishes a successful, long-lasting business. So, how do you foster creativity in the workplace?
We’ve talked about this before on the Asap Awards blog, but it’s worth mentioning again that employee recognition (or lack thereof) directly impacts creativity in the workplace. When a worker is recognized for his or her effort, the company benefits from a higher level of productivity and creativity. Unfortunately, we live in an age where nearly half of all U.S. companies fail to recognize their employees. An employer may view a recognition program as being an “unnecessary expense” or “not offering any real value in return.” In reality, though, it’s a simple, cost-effective way to stimulate creativity in the workplace while reducing turnover rates and driving performance.
In addition to recognizing employees for their hard work and dedication, you should consider allowing employees to work on side projects for a certain amount of time each week. Google, for instance, has a program policy which allows its developers to spend 20% of their daily working hours on side projects of their choosing. This 20% program policy spawned some ingenious products from the search engine giant, including the all-too-popular Google News.
Reward Creative Thinkers
Positive reinforcement goes a long ways in encouraging creativity in the workplace. To entice workers to think outside of the box, you should reward those who exhibit creativity. Doing so will not only encourage the worker to continue with his or her creative thinking, but it will also encourage other workers to follow in his or her footsteps. A personalized trophy with the employee’s name is an excellent idea that’s sure to foster creativity in the workplace. Other gift ideas include personalized plaques, company-branded t-shirts and memorabilia and gift cards.
Last but not least, you can foster creativity in the workplace by orchestrating group-based brainstorming sessions. When multiple workers come together, it can spur some truly groundbreaking ideas on which to build.