About 94% of hiring managers find it best to consider creativity as the primary parameter while recruiting a candidate.
Do you agree with those numbers?
Personally, I know that no matter how many hardworking people I add to my team, at the end of the day, I want by my side a workforce that has a mind of its own. I need new ideas and new opinions to perform better, to sell better, and, most of all, to stand out and make a difference.
However, over the years I’ve spent managing teams at ProofHub, I realized surrounding myself with innovative people wasn’t enough. I needed a way to channel their creativity into work. And I knew if I wanted their best inputs, I had to make efforts for it as a leader.
Through many hit and miss trial sessions, I came up with 6 things that can help a leader channel the team’s creativity into the task at hand.
And without further ado, let’s discuss those things and help you become a better people manager.
1. Communicate Better
How can communication make creativity a staple in the workplace? The better question would be — In what ways can communication help channel the creativity of your employees?
Thankfully, I finally have an answer.
When effective and inclusive, communication can help your team open up a lot more and express themselves in a better way. Here’s what I mean:
- Put your ideas forward and encourage your team to do the same.
- Assure them that no idea is big or small, right or wrong, and that all opinions are welcome.
- Provide people the time and space to open up by building a rapport with them, so they feel safe enough to say their piece.
- Normalize conversations and discussions about future projects and modifications in the ongoing ones.
- Mentor your teammates, so they feel valued and get ready to be more expressive with you about their views on the project.
2. Provide a Creative Medium
A great leader knows that every member of the team brings their own twist to the grand project.
And speaking of bringing your own twist, communication and encouragement will definitely help your team open up, but how exactly would they like to express their ideas?
If creativity is what we want to channelize, we must provide the employees with an equally creative medium to express their ideas. I suppose you’re wondering what a creative medium is.
And the answer is — It can be a lot of things. It could be an infographic, a presentation, a speech, a colorful chart, anything.
The idea is to make the employees approach the idea of creativity with heart, humility, and humor.
Therefore, provide your team with opportunities like weekly discussions of morning meetings to address their new ideas on a platform where they feel comfortable and expressive to the max.
These creative reinforcements can help keep your team effectively engaged, and before you know it, your employees will be pining to present their ideas and future prospects in every way they possibly can.
3. Create an Accepting Team Culture
The best way to ensure that your team will speak up and present their ideas in an expressive way is to create a team culture where ideas are not just welcome but also accepted.
The idea behind creating this type of team culture constitutes building the kind of place where:
- People can be themselves.
- People are encouraged to express themselves.
- The team has no fear of their ideas being shut down.
- The culture is devoid of fears like ideas being disliked or getting laughed at.
Creating an accepting environment gives the employees an opportunity to come together and work towards a common goal. The feeling of this type of camaraderie is enough for the team to become more expressive of their ideas because they trust one another enough to stand for what they believe in.
4. Go Easy With the Deadlines
I remember back when I used to work for this marketing firm, we were always told by the bosses that we need to find some new way to climb up the ranks, and I loved the research part of the job. However, we were kept on too short a leash to ever be able to pursue any new avenues of marketing.
Sadly, the name of this short leash was “tight deadlines.”
This is why I always incline towards providing my team with a breathable and flexible project timeline so that everyone gets to put their best foot forward.
I hope to help you do the same for your team. All you need to do is:
- Understand the requirements of the project.
- Analyze the number of deliverable results required.
- Create a time margin so that everyone has time to give their best shot at their respective tasks.
- Create doable deadlines for the tasks by analyzing how much time the tasks usually take.
This will help your team do some thorough research and find new ideas to implement into their tasks and, consequently, the whole project.
5. Never Stop Brainstorming
Although here at ProofHub, we avoid having elaborate meetings and instead believe in having agenda-driven brainstorming sessions. Leaders must browse all the amazing brainstorming techniques that organizations have been using to their benefit for so long now.
Brainstorming sessions act like a gathering that helps break the ice, discuss the scope of the project, get a clear vision of what the team is working towards, and collect every great idea that can be incorporated into the same.
Apart from all of that, these gatherings also help the team break the monotony and be inspired to think out of the box and come back to the next meeting with even better ideas and solutions.
6. Provide Channels for Inspiration
Now we have created an accepting environment, a great team culture, and we have provided the team with a creative medium through which they can express themselves; what else do we need?
The inspiration to do more, to think more, and to be more.
Creativity often comes from a place of inspiration. And there is no one more inspirational than a leader or a mentor.
The duty of keeping the staff inspired falls on your shoulders.
But it is easy to keep the team motivated and inspired. All you have to do it:
- Acknowledge their achievements.
- Celebrate accomplishments.
- Share success stories with the team.
- Congratulate the team on events when the organization gets a big client.
- Always tell your team how thankful you are to have them around you.
- Discuss achievements each year and get the team excited about future plans.
Talent is good, hard work? Even better. But what success needs is for you to be creative. According to a survey conducted by IBM, it was found that CEOs consider creativity to be the number one reason that contributes to success.
This just goes to show how much more an innovative team can achieve compared with a hard-working one. I hope with this article, it is clear to you that channeling your team’s creativity is absolutely essential for the growth of your projects and how exactly you can achieve that.
Let us all stop feeding into aimless employee engagement tactics and gather our team around for coming up with creative solutions starting now.
DepositPhotos – creative team