As a small business owner, it can easy to be swept away by the endless list of things to do and the constant pressure of making ends meet. However, it’s important to take time out from the day-to-day running of the business, in order to foster creativity and be inspired. Making room for creativity will allow employees to do their best work, and help take your business to the next level. Here are six tips for fostering creativity in the workplace.
1 Break routine
Nothings kills creativity like doing the same things day in, day out. Every now and then it pays to shake up your regular routine – even for just a day. Take your team out for lunch, let them work from home or enjoy a day of team building away from the office. Remind your team why you are doing this and the end goal, and put aside the every day stresses of running of a business – temporarily of course.
2 Seek inspiration
Take time to seek fresh inspiration and new ideas. Depending on your business and the industry you are in, this could be done in a variety of ways. Attend a conference, organise a training day or spend an afternoon at a competitor or successful business you admire, who can share some tips and tricks with you and the team.
3 Reward good ideas
In order to promote creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, you need to reward those who come up with good ideas. Make sure you are receptive to all ideas – nothing is off limits or too silly to consider. And when employees have great ideas, make sure you implement them. Reward team members who come up with valuable initiatives and let them know you appreciate their input.
4 Brainstorm often
When you have a problem or something you’d like to improve, hold a brainstorming session with your staff. Create a culture that’s always innovating and looking for ways to progress. Encourage your staff to throw out ideas and share information or expertise they’ve picked up along the way. Brainstorming regularly will get everyone in the habit of sharing their thoughts more readily.
5 Try and fail
It’s important that employees feel their ideas and creative suggestions are actually being used, otherwise, you’ll run the risk of everyone becoming disengaged. In order to foster creativity, let your staff members try their ideas where possible – even if they may fail. It’s better to try and learn from mistakes, then to never do anything at all.
6 Be kind
At the end of the day, employees will feel more at ease with working as a team and sharing ideas, if you’ve created a kind work environment. Make sure everyone’s ideas are heard – despite their job titles. And if an idea is not quite right, be kind in your response. Encourage your team to keep trying and always strive to improve.