When you first started your business, you and your employees were very excited—thrilled to be starting the process of creating new products or services. Now that you are a few years in, it is harder to motivate employees to create change for your company. Companies must always be on the lookout for new ideas to remain current and fresh. If you are struggling to keep your employees motivated and seeking creative solutions, we have some ideas.
Be sure that you are allowing your employees time and space to be creative. Allow them time to personalize their workspace. Give them the materials they need to encourage their creativity. Encourage them to reach for their own best creative process. Make sure that you are creating a positive work environment that allows your employees to see rewards for their creative efforts. Believe it or not, the more creativity you foster and encourage, the better those ideas are for your company. Reward creative solutions personally. Give your employees a chance to make their creativity work for you, and be sure and celebrate when that happens.
If rewarding employees doesn’t come easily for you, because you worry that it will take up too much of your business time, think about this. The more your employees feel rewarded and valued for their creativity, the more they will be encouraged to come to you with new ideas.
On the subject of feedback, you need to make sure that you are giving good, constructive, positive feedback to your employees so that they will continue to be creative. If employees feel that they are constantly negatively criticized, they will not step in to help you solve a problem or come up with a new idea. Be sure that you encourage your team to continue thinking, and offer suggestions to help them problem-solve. If your employees think that you are in their corner, they are much more likely to accept suggestions and come to you when they need help working through a problem.
Are You Fostering Good Teamwork?
Some companies think that they can foster good team building by engaging in a company building exercise once a year at a business retreat. However, good teambuilding consists of little things you can do throughout the year to foster it. Give your team spaces in which to collaborate and work together. Also, include some individual workspaces for those employees who need a little time to decompress or focus. Want to foster teamwork? Give your employees a communal space where they can bond with their teams without working. For example, think about adding a break room where employees can relax, have a cup of coffee, eat breakfast or lunch, and bond with each other. It is much easier to work as a team when you understand the team members on a more personal level.
Also, if your team is working hard and has accomplished a goal, be sure and reward that team for all of their efforts. If they feel they are being appreciated as a team, they will work harder to accomplish new goals. This is especially important for new teams, as they may not yet be comfortable with the process.
Managing creative employees can be a difficult juggling job for managers or supervisors. Often, creative employees need a very quiet place to think creatively. They may choose to work alone, rather than with the team for a period of time. While each individual needs their alone time, encourage the team to meet at particular times during the day or during the week to engage each other and talk about their ongoing work.
Know When You Need More Professional Development
There may be a time when you need to ask for professional help. There may also be a time that your employees need more development in a particular area. If you think that your employees need more motivation, consider hiring a motivational speaker to get your employees fired up for a new challenge. Motivational speakers are an amazing way to show your employees what the future of the company could be. These speakers may also allow employees to see their own potential.
You might want to think about encouraging your employees to engage in professional development offsite. Do you have an employee who wants to get trained in a new technique to help them in their creative field? Great! Encourage those employees who want to continue their training or their education to do it. Allow employees to learn new skills, and build confidence in those skills. That way, your employees will come back from their training, class or course ready to teach others what they learned. Recognize those employees who have taken the time to go and get extra training as well, because they are working hard to further the interests of your company.
It can be hard, especially in a small company to think about sending your employees for developmental courses. However, you may want to consider this. Companies that encourage their employees to go to workshops and classes are three times more likely to have more new ideas than companies who don’t.
Don’t be afraid to get some professional development yourself. For example, a lot of classes for managers and supervisors teach professionals how to eliminate obstacles that may be slowing their employees down. Perhaps your workspace flow needs updating. Maybe your company has too many procedures that have to be followed before a new idea can jump into the marketplace. When you go to professional development, your employees can benefit, and ideas can be generated more quickly.
When you generate a sense that creativity is welcomed in your business, by encouraging creative workspaces, allowing and celebrating teamwork, and by approving professional development, your employees understand your focus is on them becoming better so the company can improve as well. If your employees feel valued, encouraged and appreciated, you will begin to see a vibrant, creative workplace.