How employers can promote and nourish creativity in a healthy work environment

Creativity is often seen as a mysterious substance, something like a talent that some have, and some do not. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Similar to commonly accepted things such as time management, creativity is something that can be learned and should be nourished by the work environment.

For many, being creative is their entire job. Industries such as graphic design, video production, copywriting, and many more, fully depend on this ability to turn the creative tap on and off at will. However, creativity is a fickle beast and getting it to work for you is not always easy. It’s hard work mentally and when overused it can quickly lead to burnout.

So, what can be done in order to facilitate creatives to do their jobs and do them well, getting the most out of the work they’re uniquely equipped to deliver and not milk them dry? With a bit of room to grow and understanding, we can cultivate this valuable skill to grow and flourish. Here are some guidelines on what you can do to get the most out of your team when it comes to creativity.

Keep your eyes on the goal, not the path

Creativity can be fickle. It can come when you least expect it, and strange things are able to trigger it. Ask people to explore what facilitates this process for them and do what you can to allow for it – within reason of course. Perhaps it’s work environment, flexi workspaces to keep the scenery changing. Perhaps it’s short walks outside that help get the creative juices flowing.

When it comes to projects or even personal development, set clear objectives and goals but allow people to get there in their own way. By setting objectives and deadlines, there is a goal and a target for creativity to be aimed at. This helps prevent frustrated meandering and time wasting.

Find the balance between art and profit

When operating a business, it can’t all be about artful exploration when it comes to creativity, there is money to be made. Ideas that only exist for art or creativity’s sake won’t necessarily translate into a monetary value for the business. However, this is where the greatest leaps and bounds are made and what ultimately lifts a business from being a follower to a market leader.

Of course, there needs to be a careful balance between this and not everything may always pan out. It’s a high reward game however, and worth investing in. Treat it simply like you would any other investment program and set a budget aside for it. Allow people to explore their own passion projects and often it will one way or another find its way back to your business and ultimately benefit it.

Create room for growth

Not every creative venture pans out, unfortunately. There needs to be room for failure, and for people to feel comfortable admitting to failures.

“Creativity is hard,” Heather Baker, CEO of TopLine Comms explains, “particularly when working with B2B brands. We are on a mission to nourish creativity across our team – it’s one of our major strategic goals for 2020. For us, creativity is as much about thinking laterally about everyday business challenges as it is about devising great campaign ideas. But what we have found is that one of the biggest challenges to creative thinking is fear of failure. So at TopLine we have now started celebrating creative failures. We want to send the message to our team that it’s better to take the risk and fail spectacularly than not to take the risk at all.”

When creativity more as a hard-won skill and less as something that just happens, it becomes simpler to see how it deserves to be treated. Cultivating creativity in staff allows them to deliver exceptional work and keeps them happy and fulfilled to boot. Plenty of reasons to explore it to the fullest