Enterprise & Innovation

innovate in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing word. But innovation is impossible without creativity – so how can you foster a culture of creativity and encourage your employees to think outside the box?

Creativity F

in the workplace

ollowing the extensive Covid-19 lockdown, many workplaces are looking to

someone’s idea, make sure they get the recognition they deserve and involve them in the process; if they had an idea on how to improve a product, for example, bring them into the discussions with the manufacturer.

Encourage ideas Start your journey to creating a more creative workforce by simply letting your employees know that you value their ideas. While teamwork is important, you don’t want your employees to feel as though they are blending into the woodwork or are just another cog in the machine – you want their ideas and their individuality to have an opportunity to shine. Do your employees feel like they

can come to you when they have an idea on how to improve the workplace or your products and services? A suggestion box is one way to encourage your staff to bring you their ideas. They can even leave suggestions anonymously, which will help if anyone feels too anxious to speak their mind freely. Employees will respond well if

they know that their employer values them as a unique individual, not simply another worker.

Act on good ideas It’s not enough to simply listen to good ideas, you have to act on them (or at the very least, provide valuable feedback). If suggestions are ignored your

employees may stop providing them all together. If you act on

Hire diverse talent Behind every innovative company is a dynamic and diverse team. Diversity in the workplace greatly contributes to creativity – if your workforce has too many similarities in background, education and experience, then it’s likely that their ideas will sound similar too. Fostering a diverse and inclusive

workforce will also create new opportunities for growth and help you stand out among your competitors.

Provide a stimulating workspace Your office space can go a long way in helping to promote creativity. Light: natural light is ideal, but if

that’s not possible, consider lighting that best simulates daylight. Colour: it goes without saying,

but beige walls aren’t exactly inspiring. Use colour wisely; pastel tones, which lend themselves better to more relaxing areas, are perfect for break rooms, while vibrant tones are better for spaces where creative thinking takes place, such as conference rooms. Live plants can provide splashes of colour around the workplace and also promote feelings of happiness and calm. Noise and layout: while quiet areas are good for focus, research

‘Employees will respond well if they know that their employer values them as a unique individual’

shows that ambient background noise can encourage creativity. It’s a fine balance though, as constant interruptions will obviously hinder good work. Consider offering a balance of private workspaces, collaborative table setups and comfortable places where your employees can work without interruption.

Be flexible Your employees might find it hard to think outside the box when they’re working in a rigid environment, but a change in scenery has been proven to help boost creativity. Options include allowing

employees to work from home a few days a week and offering flexible hours, as opposed to the standard nine-to-five. A more flexible work policy can

help increase work productivity too, as it can cut down on commute time and allow for a healthier work-life balance.

48 CHAMBERLINK October 2020

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