Seven Ways To Encourage Innovation And Creativity In Your Team

Seven Ways To Encourage Innovation And Creativity In Your Team
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It is not very easy for an organization to be unique in its industry in the post-modern world. Irrespective of the quality of your products/services, you are always likely to have other players in the market providing similar offerings to your target audience. This makes it essential for businesses to be creative in their approach. 

In 2021, the importance of innovation in all major industries is immense. If you are willing to have the edge over your competitors and get the desired traction, it becomes necessary to stand out from the clutter. A creative approach helps you think out of the box and develop ideas that are unique to your organization. When these ideas are implemented, it becomes easier for your customers to distinguish your brand from others and give you the attention you deserve. 

It is a common misconception that creativity is limited to a few industries such as sales, marketing, and media. People rarely associate creativity with IT, finance, healthcare, education, law, and many more. However, it is crucial to understand that innovation is vital for all major industries, irrespective of the services provided. Just like creativity knows no bounds, it doesn't know any restrictions based on the industry to which an organization belongs! 

Benefits Of Taking Creative Business Decisions

Here are some of the significant benefits of coming up with innovative ideas and making creative business decisions: 

  1. Tackling Challenges Effectively

    Creativity allows you to find the best way out of a problem and tackle challenges that come your way. It helps you challenge conventional thinking and provides you with highly effective ways of resolving a crisis. Creative thinking facilitates taking risks and being prepared to deal with the consequences.

  2. Identifying New Opportunities

    Creativity helps you look beyond the ordinary and explore new horizons for your organization. This allows you to tap into new opportunities and work towards attaining the same. When your team thinks creatively, you can discover new avenues to grow and prosper your business.

  3. Stimulating The Mind

    Creative thinking is essentially an exercise of the brain. It prevents your employees from sticking to their first thoughts and thinking hard enough to venture out of the box. This helps you and your team stimulate your minds and make decisions that would not have been possible going the conventional way.

  4. Improved Customer Relations

    When you think creatively and encourage innovation, you can provide your customers with something new. Whether you come up with new offerings or innovatively market the existing offerings, it helps you create a distinct image of your brand in the minds of your customers, making them curious to engage with your business. Even if you are not successful in converting your prospects, creative thinking helps your brand's image linger in the minds of your customers.

Best Ways To Encourage Innovation And Creativity In Your Team

It is always essential to inspire your team to be creative in their approach and innovative ideas. Here are some of the best ways in which you can encourage innovation and creativity within your team: 

  1. Establish A Fun And Relaxed Environment

    It is difficult for creativity and innovation to thrive in an environment that is toxic and stressful. If your employees are often under stress and are overburdened with work, they are less likely to develop innovative ideas. It is impossible to force oneself to think creatively.

    Scientifically speaking, excessive stress leads to the secretion of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol makes it difficult for an individual to concentrate, leading to "brain fog." This is never an ideal condition under which one can think creatively. This makes it essential to create a work environment that is fun and relaxed. When you allow your employees to work in a stress-free environment, it stimulates a free flow of thoughts, a condition necessary for creative thinking.

  2. Build A Relationship Of Trust

    Another important way of encouraging creative thinking within your team is to build trust with your employees. If your team members do not feel supported by you, they would never be genuinely driven to develop innovative ideas. This would also make them hesitate to share new ideas because of the fear of rejection.

    If you can make your employees trust you by acknowledging their opinions and recognizing their efforts, they are motivated to think creatively. Trust leads to breaking the communication barrier between you and your team members, allowing them to speak their minds and come up with innovative ideas.

  3. Steer Away From Toxic Employees

    It is next to impossible for your team to indulge in creative thinking if they are in the presence of toxic employees. Always make sure you keep such employees at bay while making decisions that matter. Employees who tend to sabotage meetings, bring down the morale of their peers and discourage free-flowing discussions are the most significant internal threats to innovation.

    It is advisable for recruiting managers to undertake a thorough assessment of candidates while making new hires. Always be vigilant in selecting the people you want in your team to avoid any unnecessary disruptions. When every team member is open-minded and willing to indulge in creative thinking, you can come up with some of the best and most fruitful ideas.

  4. Encourage Seamless Collaboration

    When working with a team, it is always advisable to ensure seamless collaboration between the team members. Some of the best ideas emerge out of teamwork and effective collaboration. Make sure that every team member has an equal say in the matter and acknowledge their contributions, however small they are.

    When a single individual (or a handful of people) has a say overall in the decisions to be made by your team, it hampers the overall purpose of collaboration. Whether you are working on-premise or remotely, make sure you allow all the team members to put forth diverse perspectives and healthily reach effective decisions.

    Another benefit of encouraging collaboration is that it creates a pool of ideas provided by employees with different skills and capabilities. When you have different points of view regarding a matter, it helps you gain a holistic view, thereby improving the quality of decisions made.

    Read More: How MS Teams facilitates seamless collaboration?

  5. Get Rid Of Bureaucracy

    If you are willing to encourage innovation and creativity, it is always essential to keep bureaucracy at bay. Unnecessary bureaucracy is one of the most significant barriers to free-thinking and innovative ideas.

    Excessive bureaucracy often forces team members to work within the confines of strict rules, curbing the free flow of thoughts. It centralizes the decision-making powers, making the employees work under the heavy hand of authority. If the employees are not comfortable with the rules or do not agree with them, it would prevent them from speaking their minds and sharing innovative ideas.

    Based on the kind of organization you run, some bureaucracy may be needed to ensure an organized approach. However, if it affects your team's decision-making processes and creativity, it is advisable to get rid of the same. Essentially, bureaucracy is precisely the opposite of innovation. While innovation encourages people to think out of the box, bureaucracy forces them to operate within the box's confines.

  6. Give Importance To Psychological Well-being

    Along with tending to the physical well-being of your employees, it is equally important to focus on their mental health. Your team members can only think creatively when they are mentally healthy. Issues like stress, anxiety, intimidation, and other complexes cripple the ability to think freely and express oneself clearly.

    Always make sure that the mental well-being of your employees is sound and their issues are heard. Encourage them to share their professional and personal issues to free them from psychological burdens. Create a friendly environment within the workplace to make your employees feel at home and comfortable in sharing their ideas.

  7. Provide Constructive Feedback

    One of the most significant ways to show your employees that you recognize their efforts is to provide constructive feedback. Always be critical and honest in your feedback to let your employees know how they are doing. This would motivate them to work on their mistakes and reinforce constructive habits.

    However, it is essential to focus on how you provide feedback to your employees. Avoid sounding harsh, and make sure that you come off as someone genuinely interested in the growth of your team members as you assess their performance.

The Final Word 

These were some of the most effective ways to encourage innovation and creativity within your team. Irrespective of the scale at which your company operates and the industry you belong to, always cultivate the habit of thinking creatively and harbouring innovative ideas.

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