With today’s saturated markets and quickly changing trends, being able to foster a creative culture in your company is more important than ever. But not all companies have that atmosphere, and many can make improvements. Here are some of the best ways to encourage creativity and help your business thrive.
Why Fostering a Creative Culture is Important
The idea of creative culture is important. It’s not just your new employees or sales and marketing departments that need to be creative, it’s company leadership too. New problems or changes in the business environment often require creative solutions. Company leaders can set a positive example for others and encourage change where it’s needed.
Creativity produces successful sales campaigns, meets sales goals, and solidifies your brand’s position with customers. But it does more than that. It makes employees more productive, successful and happy. And that has long term benefits.
Best Practices to Foster a Creative Culture
- Be true to your vision and values. Company culture, mission and brand values should be consistent and reflected throughout every facet of the organization. Employees can easily see how their activities contribute to the team, making them more willing to express their creativity. An obvious company culture will also help your company attract and keep the right people. Engage with your employees periodically to find where you can make improvements.
- Create an inviting and comfortable office. Office design should be consistent with the company culture you want to create. Creativity is unlikely to occur in a dysfunctional, mind numbing space. Different spaces to accommodate all types of work performed are essential. Make sure there are common areas for down time and places to work if you need a change of scenery or more privacy. Lots of natural light keeps people in a good mood, access to nature improves creativity, and plants add aesthetic value and improve indoor air quality.
- Encourage healthy food choices. Providing healthy options for meals or snacks goes a long way to keeping everyone alert and in a good mood. Make sure there’s an area for at least minimal food prep when bringing healthy food from home. Also include an area to eat, relax, and socialize with other employees during meals.
- Encourage fitness. There are examples of innovators in almost every field that use exercise to spur their creative genius. In a study done at Stanford University, over 80% of participants were more creative after exercising. Biking or walking to work can put employees in the right frame of mind for optimal performance. They avoid commute related stress. They’ll be relaxed and ready to engage in the creative process. Install bike racks, an onsite gym with changing areas, or provide a discount gym membership to get everyone moving.
Motivate Your Staff to Be Creative
- Organize social events. Social gatherings help team members and co-workers in other departments get to know each other better. Creative ideas can come from anywhere. When employees interact in new and different ways and environments, they gain insights that help form creative ideas. Employees that feel comfortable around one another will be able to express themselves and are more likely to share new ideas and speak up at meetings.
- Provide opportunities for personal and professional development. These opportunities build self-esteem that encourages employees to express their ideas. It also sends the message that your company cares about them personally. Employees are more satisfied and feel they’re valuable members of the team.
It’s worth the effort to foster a creative culture at your company. The benefits can be enormous and will keep you competitive far into the future.