With being a business owner, there are a lot of hats that you may have to wear. The constant struggle of trying to thrive within entrepreneurship can be taxing. You don’t have to do this alone, though.
To have a successful company means that you need your entire team on-board for the ride. However, many employees, if not encouraged properly, end up afraid to truly tap into their creative side. This is where the test of your leadership abilities comes through.
As a leader, you must take steps to motivate people to think outside the box and find ways for you and your team to make an impact with your business.
Below are just a few tips that you can do to foster creativity and innovation within your business for your team, and yourself.
Believe In Your Business
The first step to creating innovation in your business is by believing in it, yourself. Whether you have a team of 1 person or 1,000 people, this is the most important step.
Set the tone for your company. Try new things, even if they fail, you’ll never know if you don’t try and make that leap.
Stand behind your values, creativity and your company’s product. When the person at the top truly believes in their organization’s deliverables and communicates their vision clearly, then it is easier for this mindset to travel down to the employees.
A hallmark of a great leader is the ability to be humble and seek varying perspectives outside of your own to solve and utilize helpful techniques, such as constructive brainstorming, to prompt more diverse ideas. Make sure you are holding meetings where employees can feel free to brainstorm ideas and have their input heard within the company.
Encourage Your Employees To Speak Up
When people know that they have a voice at their job, it makes them more comfortable to vocalize any concerns or changes that they’d like to see. Encourage your teams to develop a habit of being vocal about any new innovations that they’d like to see within the business. Now, asking your team to consistently tap into their creative juices may take time, commitment and most of all trust (from all of you). Consider doing trust building exercises with your team at least once a week. If you keep at it, the return on investment is sure to be incredibly long term.
Have patience and trust in your team to get there.
Enable Workers to Try New Things
This ties into the above point of encouraging your employees to have more of a say regarding new innovations in the company. As a leader, you must take steps to motivate people to think outside the box. For one, it’s hard for someone to think outside of the norm when they do the same things, see the same people and are stuck in the same environments every day all day.
For example, let your people spend time in various parts of the business and in numerous job roles so that they get a better overall idea of what their fellow coworkers do on a daily basis. Not to mention, this gives teams a glimpse into how the company works as a whole.
Also, combining multiple teams together for a few days gives varying influence, strengths and viewpoints toward a project. They may come up with even better innovative ideas when they have diverse, new perspectives to pull from.
You can take it a step further and bring in outside help whenever you think it will be beneficial. Hire motivational speakers and consultants who are experts in niche areas or even in creativity itself to aid in your team’s creativity process.
The appropriate technology can mean the world when it comes to bringing innovative ideas to a business. Software tools like Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator and Photoshop can be helpful to your teams to create quality products to quip your customer’s interest and thus lead to sales.
Furthermore, web design programs, digital animation, and video editing software will add quirky marketing devices for your products and often guarantees more exposure. The more resources you provide, the more you set your company up for success.
Positive reinforcement toward your employees when they give you their creative ideas is a must. After all, what do they receive once they’ve worked hard to come up with a really great creative or marketing innovation for you and the company?
Reward people with gifts or special perks when developing and sharing cool ideas or innovative solutions. Keep in mind, rewards often come in the form of bonuses, money or even gift cards, but it doesn’t necessarily always have to be financial.
For example, stock up on helpful USBs, personalized water bottles, cool notebooks and specialty bottles of fine wine. You can even do monthly rewards for the person who comes up with the cleverest, most innovative ideas each month, such as an extra day off work, tickets to sporting or local events or free lunches for a week.
Setting up an awards system that acknowledges your employees work within the company sets a light, collaborative tone and reminds people to see how valued creative thinking is.