Creativity is a valuable skill for any company to foster within their culture. Doing so can impact any industry while being useful for staff in all positions. This article explains.
It’s one thing to understand the power of a creative mind, but it’s another to understand how to cultivate a creative company culture all around. This will help you find and retain talent.
Creative minds and critical thinkers need to live in a culture of acceptance, flexibility, risk taking, and friction in order to jump start innovation and put their skills to good use. However, it’s also important to be patient with the process of innovation.
It’ll take a company that encourages flexibility, can see the positive side of failure, and provides their employees with continued learning and training to truly succeed in this endeavour. A company that understands the creative process and is willing to sacrifice for it can better cultivate a creative company culture.
Those sacrifices, without a doubt, will manifest more benefits than expected for both the company as a whole and its individual team members.
Hire diverse employees
Often, creativity is not a one-person process. Collaboration can create some of the most innovative and groundbreaking ideas, so it should be a priority to create a collaborative environment through diverse hiring practices.
People who come from different backgrounds, have different degrees, and who think differently can come together to offer new ideas and solutions that make a big difference. Hiring applicants who challenge the status quo and can offer another viewpoint should be encouraged at all turns in the hiring process.
While many companies focus on hiring people who fit their company culture, know that diverse hiring should be considered a fit within your company culture as well, as a stifled culture leads to stifled innovation. A focus on diverse hiring can also boost employee engagement, which can play a big role in creativity as well.
Choose leaders who prioritise employee fulfillment
Choosing the right types of leaders in management positions can make a big impact on producing a creative company culture. If your company culture statements and leadership styles don’t match up, then you’re battling an issue with clarity and inconsistency that can create conflict in your company.
By hiring or promoting leaders who prioritise employee fulfillment and all around personal satisfaction with the work they’re doing, the atmosphere will feel alive with innovation and new ideas — not to mention the added perks that come naturally with engaged employees who have a healthy work-life balance, ensuring those members of your team don’t burn out.
There are different leadership styles that work better for different challenges, but any style that prioritises each employee’s fulfillment in their job can help with their creativity. Allowing each employee’s creative freedom to thrive is a major aspect of employee fulfillment, no matter which position they were hired for.
Even the seemingly most “uncreative,” of positions, like data entry or upper management, have room to grow and implement new ideas that will benefit everyone they touch.
Create a culture of growth
Creating a culture of growth is about encouraging employees to feel like they are a part of the growth that happens within the business. They will be affected by company changes, so they should feel like they are allowed to make suggestions and speak up about creative ideas and changes that can prompt that growth.
They should also be informed when growth happens so they know exactly how they fit into the company’s success.
Create a collaborative and open atmosphere from a company-wide level by encouraging in departments and individually. Allow transparency between employees and management. You can encourage growth by offering tools and education, being open for feedback, and prioritising in-house hiring that cultivates upward momentum for employees.
Innovation causes growth, so it’s important to accept both from employees instead of being defensive about criticism within the company.
Encourage flexibility in the creative process
Each employee will likely have a different creative process, and fostering those creative processes will allow your company to reap the rewards of new ideas, so you must encourage flexibility for employees to reach that highest potential.
One of the key components in design-based thinking is flexibility, which allows creatives to think outside of the box in order to find solutions without being bound by strict parameters. Allow curiosity, experimentation, and collaboration to thrive by encouraging employees to be flexible and implementing flexible work policies.
Offering open working hours, remote work opportunities, a variety of tools, collaboration opportunities, and a flexible environment can help keep the creative process free to head in any direction it needs to.
Allow employees to fail
Creativity often involves trial and error, and it’s vital for employees to feel like it’s okay to take risks in their creative pursuits. Companies have to accept risk and be willing to take losses in order to gain the rewards of creating something special.
Facebook, LEGO, and Netflix are all companies with great internal culture, but they are also companies that value innovation and foster a playful approach to new ideas and creation while accepting risk. If you punish employees for failing after risk taking, they won’t feel safe enough to let their creativity take the reins in their work when another new opportunity arises.
Instead, you’ll have employees that live in a culture of fear and feel stifled in their creative duties. Failing is a learning tool, so rewarding risk-taking is a tactic that can help to break tradition and push your employees to reach their potential.
Provide education and training
Many employees come as a whole package, armed with experience and an education that will help them in their creative pursuits. It’s important to embrace the idea that education and learning can promote growth.
Many fields are always changing, so providing more education and training can help to cultivate a creative company culture that is always looking ahead at what is next and how employees can learn from advancements. According to Western Governors University:
The importance of continual education is realising that you can always continue to progress and grow in your education; you never know everything … (T)here is always room for more for you to learn, and more you can offer. Studies and success stories show that being a lifelong learner is crucial for business success and is an integral part of entrepreneurship and career advancement.
If employees are to come up with creative solutions in novel ways, they will need access to new sources of information. This way, their knowledge base can continue to grow. You can accomplish this by funding further education, sending employees to conferences, or investing in more training that can help many employees get the updates they need to keep up with field advancements.
Creativity isn’t a skill that is specific to the arts; it’s about using the imagination to create original ideas and concepts that challenge the current state of things. Each industry relies on creative thinking in order to be better, which is why it’s vital to cultivate a creative company culture.
By implementing diverse hiring practices, choosing leaders who will prioritise employee happiness, promoting career growth, encouraging flexibility in the creative process, allowing employees to fail without fear of punishment, and providing education and training to help nourish a creative mind.
Employees will feel safe in their creative pursuits and free to think critically. A creative culture will help to draw in innovative minds and retain top talent.
About the Author
Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and personal development. Indiana loves experiencing new things and sharing with others what she learns through her writing. You can chat with Indiana on Twitter.