Bringing Out the Creativity in Your Employees

CreativityGuest post by Megan Totka, Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com

A creative approach to your marketing strategy will do wonders for your business. It will help paint pictures for your potential customers to enable them to fully visualize why they should be using your company.

It’s easy to default to just the facts when selling your product but if customers cannot imagine it, they may not bite. To launch this type of creative marketing campaign, you’ll need a plentiful supply of new ideas, even if you don’t have a plentiful supply of employees. Since you can’t suck any water out of a dry well, you may be faced with the challenge of getting more creativity out of your employees. If that’s the case, here’s 15 surefire ways to get their wheels turning:

  1. Set realistic goals and motivate them with rewards.
  2. Acknowledge and attempt to correct any concerns about workplace interruptions or blocks.
  3. Give under spoken employees a chance to submit creative ideas anonymously.
  4. Hold regular brainstorming meetings. No bashing. No deciding. Just let your employees talk about their ideas and bounce thoughts off of each other.
  5. Create smaller teams of likeminded employees to work on projects together.
  6. Stay open-minded about creativity. Employees do not want to feel afraid of speaking up with an idea that may be too far out of the box.
  7. Make sure your creative team is diversified, not only in race and cultural backgrounds but in work experience, age and life.
  8. Hire employees directly out of college. You can’t have an entire team of newbies but you do want to take chances on a few. These employees will have the learned knowledge of how to help your business and their minds will be filled with ideas they haven’t gotten a chance to use in real life yet.
  9. Encourage positive morale in the workplace.
  10. Give employees time off of work. Make sure there is time available for vacations and illnesses within reason plus a couple mental health days during the year too.
  11. When faced with a time crunch or nearing deadline, especially in the case where employees are working long hours, feed them! A lot can be said about ordering in a couple pizzas to help get ideas flowing.
  12. Allow spontaneity. Being creative doesn’t normally happen according to the boss’ watch. Understand that the best ideas will come from other inspiration.
  13. Host a mini competition amongst workers or teams.
  14. Turn to social networking. Great ideas can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  15. Make sure the end game is worth it. Do you employees know what the benefit of the final project is? Both to them and to the company as a whole?

If all else fails and time is on your side, just wait it out. The best ideas will come in the shower, driving in the car, and even trying to fall asleep. Just as soon as your employees stop trying to force a new creative idea out, they will find inspiration and throw out the winner. And if this doesn’t work, you can always read up on tips for having fresh ideas.  How do you foster new ideas from your employees?

(Photo Source)

Megan-ChamberofCommerce.com_Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

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