Process, strategy and research are all necessary ingredients to a successful business. However, the key to really selling a product and keeping employees engaged – or if you prefer to stick with the in-the-kitchen analogy of “making your dish crave-worthy” – is creativity.
So what are some small business tips and tricks to amp up the creativity?
Yes, Everyone Can Be Creative
First off, “creative” professionals aren’t the only source of creativity within a workplace. Whether you’re an Accountant or Copywriter or a Customer Service Specialist or Art Director, creativity is in everyone. Why? Because everyone can teach you something you didn’t already know or offer you a different perspective that you otherwise might not have considered. And in business, it’s all about learning and experiencing. Never sell any employee short on his or her creative potential.
Provide a Creative Atmosphere
If the movie Office Space taught us anything, it’s that human beings weren’t meant to sit for hours in little cubicles completing incredibly mundane tasks only to be told they weren’t doing them right or fast enough in the first place. So, knock down those walls – literally and figuratively – and breathe some life into your company’s environment. Take a cue from some of today’s most innovative businesses, such as Google, Facebook, and candy company Mars, and offer office environments that make employees feel more at-home. Consider conference rooms with fun, off-the-wall themes like a superhero room, or install a dart board or ping pong table to encourage breaks and socializing. At the end of the day, employee output is only as good as management input. Just because work is serious business, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, too.
Get to Know Your Employees’ Interests
Companies are comprised of people from all walks of life with varying hobbies and interests. Fostering employee relationships and communication outside of daily work talk and small chitchat is pivotal for a boss to uncover hidden creative talent within employees. Just because your receptionist is soft-spoken and neat at the office, doesn’t mean he or she isn’t comfortable getting dirty and expressive on a weekend painting bender. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Jobs are what we do; they don’t make us who we are.
Acknowledge Effort and Respect Failure
Challenging the status quo of a company can be risky, but it can also incredibly rewarding, if done correctly. Other than the bravery it takes to go against the grain, challenging employees to give their all is a perfect way to kindle a creative fire throughout the office. It’s the same principle of working out at the gym with a partner: you’re there to push each other and exert your best efforts to achieve results. If you step up your game at work, it has the potential to ignite contagious productivity throughout the entire company. Be the leader of change you hope to achieve in the company. It’s easy to become complacent with “the way things are” simply because that’s all we’ve known. But many times, there are better ways to achieve success. However, keep in mind that with risk and challenge also comes failure — which isn’t the devil in disguise we all tend to make failure out to be. Failure is part of living and working. You live. You learn. You grow.
About the Author
E.J. Dealy is CEO of The Company Corporation, which assists entrepreneurs and small business owners in forming business entities. The Company Corporation does not provide legal, financial, or tax advice.
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