Imagination and creativity are two vital components that drive the entrepreneurial spirit. However, as the years wear on, the stress and pressure of keeping a small business afloat can take a toll on the small business owner, and as a result other employees.
To ensure that you and your employees feel encouraged, refreshed and excited about the work you do, here are ten simple ways that you can use the power of creativity to inspire and motivate your crew.
1. Solve a Problem
Just about everyone can think of at least one nagging problem that gets in the way of workflow processes. As a team, brainstorm ideas for solving the problem and implement them one by one until you find something that works. This kind of problem-solving process can be excellent for creativity.
2. Discover Hidden Talents
Does your bookkeeper have untapped talents in design? Ask for her input on the next flyer or store display. Does your IT expert understand what it takes to start an e-commerce website? Let him weigh in on the project. None of your employees are one-trick ponies, so encourage them to participate in the tasks they truly enjoy.
3. Go to the Theater Together
Seeing a movie will work, but bonus points if your employees catch a local dance production or play. Nothing fuels creativity like being fully immersed in it.
4. Take Your Work Outdoors
When the weather’s nice you can take your meetings outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine can improve your mood and get people thinking outside the cubicle.
5. Act Like Children
Video games, board games, finger painting. All of these things help creative people get “unstuck,” but these methods aren’t just for advertisers and graphic designers. A little fun can free you from your workday doldrums.
6. Encourage Disagreement
Of course, there are positive ways and negative ways to go about this, but the goal is to make sure that your employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas. Encourage everyone to offer constructive critique and then listen objectively when critiques are coming their way.
7. Envision the Future
On your own, or with your team, start thinking about what the business will look like in 10, 15 or 20 years. How will it grow? How will it be better? You never know what you might be able to achieve if you just let yourself dream it first.
8. Reward Creativity
When an employee dares to solve a problem creatively, praise them for it. The more ideas you have to choose from, the better your chances of finding solutions.
9. Make Physical Space for Creativity
Set aside a meeting or conference space that makes it easy to be creative and use it regularly. Transform break rooms in to happy spaces, too.
10. Turn Chores into Games
There’s something to what Mary Poppins had to say: “In every job there is an element of fun.” Find ways to make the mundane tasks more fun for your staff. For example, turn cleanup in an Office Olympics competition with prizes or perks.
By doing any of these things, you can set your business up to be a place that embraces individual talents, rewards growth, and fosters ongoing creativity. However, if you truly want stretch yourself, try taking on three creative challenges in the next year and monitor how business and morale grows.
Make An Impression.