Just doing one’s job is not enough. To succeed, one has to be innovative.
This is true for individual people, for teams, and for companies. And it is the job of every employer and leader to make sure their team fully engage their creative potential.
There are a few ways you can keep your team motivated:
1. Encourage Teamwork
The total is greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve all heard this maxim but not everybody takes it to heart. It plays an important role in defining how creative your team is as a whole.
Even two people working as a team complement each other and are more likely to generate ideas that wouldn’t cross their minds if they worked in isolation.
Thus, the employer’s job is to cultivate team spirit and encourage teamwork. Make sure that your team understand that they succeed or fail as a group, not as individuals. Let them know they don’t have to compete against each other to achieve results.
2. Know When to Get Out of the Way
Employers and leaders often feel the need to control and oversee every step of their team out of fear that without constant micromanagement, they are bound to get something wrong.
This is only true for poorly organized teams.
If you are confident in the abilities of your colleagues, the best you can do is to remove the limitations and overbearing control and just let them do their thing after making it clear what their target is. In other words, be a leader, not a boss.
3. Everyone Needs to Contribute
If you regularly run brainstorming sessions, you know how it usually is. A couple of extroverted participants hijack the meeting and turn discussion into active lobbying of their own ideas, preventing the majority from contributing.
This limits the amount of ideas to pursue and demotivates the rest of the team. They get used to not being heard, and stop trying.
To turn things around, try making it obligatory for everyone to contribute a set number of ideas during these sessions.
It is important to make them understand that you don’t necessarily expect these ideas to be outstanding. Such a requirement serves as a limitation and often prevents people from sharing original ideas because they are afraid they would be labelled as silly.
Take a look at this collection of videos and ask yourself, can such work be created by people who are afraid of what others may think of what they’ve come up with?
4. Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Free exchange of knowledge is the environment in which creativity thrives and evolves.
This means that you have to establish a company culture that encourages knowledge sharing between individuals, teams and departments.
Give suitable incentives to those who actively share their skills with others no matter in what areas they lie. You never know what can kick start a surge of inspiration.
5. Remove Barriers
The existing company culture may be inadvertently stifling the very creativity you are after through inefficiency, red tape and internal barriers for bringing the innovative ideas to those who can act upon them.
For example, if a recommendation has to go through multiple levels of approvals before it is implemented (if it is not lost halfway through), it can seriously demotivate anybody willing to offer a recommendation in the first place.
Give your employees a streamlined procedure for going over recommendations and make it obvious that their suggestions will be heard and acted upon.
6. Try Flexible Working Policies
The development of technology turned flexible working policies from rare and unusual arrangements into a well-recognized paradigm, and trying it out in your company can become a valuable boost in innovation.
Not everybody is cut out to work at one’s best in a traditional 9-to-5 environment.
At least some of your employees will be able to think more clearly and come up with better ideas if they were allowed to have a more flexible working arrangement.
Put a person into the environment in which he feels natural, and his creativity will thrive.
Culture of Innovation
Establishing a culture of innovation in your company is not a quick fix – it is a prolonged and hard job involving many steps. We hope that these tips will help you make the first few steps in this direction.
How Can You Motivate Your Team?
If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
Would you like to contribute a post?