Google and Workplace Creativity
Google may provide their staff with everything from basketball courts to video gaming consoles, but they are still having problems retaining staff. According to HCOnline, their biggest problem is that their best techs are leaving to start their own businesses.
How do you combat that? Google thought outside the box by creating an in-house startup incubator called Area120, where they direct the restless, creative energy of possible entrepreneurs, to develop new ideas to the point of success. Area120 provides the techs with everything they need to develop, test and launch their ideas, for the benefit of Google.
This idea is quick on the heels of a previous policy by Google called 20 percent time where Google employees were able to work on their own projects for 20% of their day, in addition to their regular projects.
I hear you say, “This is Google, that would never work in a regular business.”
You might not have the resources, or the need, to go quite as far as Google did, however making sure your workplace encourages creativity can help engage those employees who are not feeling challenged enough. Here are a few simple suggestions for unleashing creativity in the workplace.
6 Tips for Unleashing Creativity in the Workplace
If you want new ideas from your employees, don’t just motivate them with rewards, but actually take their suggestions seriously. If great suggestions ‘fall on deaf ears’, you stop receiving them altogether.
Anonymity & Confidentiality
Your employees might have great ideas, but do they have an outlet to express them without judgement or criticism? Make sure they feel comfortable sharing, or use a suggestion box in the lunch room.
If there are specific areas requiring improvement, then you can setup an innovation team to come up with new ideas, and strategies on how to implement them. Work with the team to ensure good ideas are implemented within the agreed deadlines.
Support Creativity and New Ideas
Employees might be unwilling to risk sharing ideas for workplace improvement if they haven’t seen good ideas being supported in the past. Changing the culture can take time, but it starts with management being more open-minded.
Diversity Among Employees
If all your employees think the same, you won’t have any new ideas put forward. A homogeneous team may work well together, but it leaves little room for ideas to flourish. Try encouraging employees to mingle with the project teams from different departments or company events. Try organising some informal events to encourage the mixing of staff, teams and ideas.
Positive Working Environment
All work and no play can make for a dull workplace. A little fun in the office allows people to be more relaxed, and that’s when employees are more likely to be inspired and come up with great ideas. Psychological studies show that a positive mood spurs creativity.
Do you have any tips for unleashing creativity in the workplace? Let me know in the comments!
Director, Your HR on Tap
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