The modern day workplace is no stranger to external disruptions that unsettle internal processes, plans and the people working within an organisation. From general elections to political referendums and European legislation to employee wellbeing incentives, businesses evolve and change as a result of an issue or to shield themselves from the possible repercussions. There is now a need for organisations to be flexible and adapt quickly to change. It is important for a workforce to be creative and possess the ability to think laterally to achieve company targets when those original and best laid plans go awry due to disruptions. To be seen as an organisation that breeds creativity and innovation is also an attractive prospect for millennials - the future employees who'll make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, according to Deloittes Millennial Survey.
A recent survey carried out by Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in Business revealed that 81% of workers interviewed felt that their organisation does not encourage ideas and experimentation. The research found that over a fifth of UK employees believe that their ideas were ignored and managers did not invest the time to consider them. With a quarter of respondents stating that their workplace is in desperate need of innovation and new ideas, it's evident managers are not doing enough to use the talent currently housed within their teams making employees inclined to look elsewhere and find organisations that thrive on innovation and develop their employees' creativity.
Is your organisation unconsciously stifling employee creativity and as a leader what can you do to turn it around?
Today's workforce is diverse; rich in culture, skills and talent through both academic and on-the-job learning. The internal talent pool housed within your company can be harnessed to boost creativity and become a melting pot for innovation. This can be achieved through departments working with one another to discuss their ideas and build upon concepts that can help the entire organisation and not just a specific team.
Encourage departments to work together through innovation workshops and days where the entire organisation will be split into teams to solve problems and produce new ideas for the company to use. The outcome could be a prize for the most original idea, most supportive team etc. to show that employees' opinions are valued. There is a gain for staff too (the reward) and bringing the company closer together.
People sometimes say that they're not too sure what to do in a whole lunch hour and end up eating at their desk to begin working again without taking a break. Create a working lunch hour every month where people can sign-up to learn a new skill, find out more about the latest trend in business or see how office tools can lead to an increase in work productivity.
Find out what employees want to learn and create a timetable where each topic is covered every month/fortnight, where lunch is offered for free and covering topics that your workforce want to learn about will ensure a high sign-up rate and up-skilled employees.
Removal of the same four walls
A breakout zone or gaming area may appear odd to place within an office for them to be used as locations where ideas are harvested and built upon but this is exactly what companies such as Amazon are pioneering. To allow employees to immerse themselves within a creative, relaxed environment, rather than being sat in front of their computer screens amongst a sea of desks, lets minds wander freely and ideas to cultivate quickly within a positive, open environment. An open office leads to an open and more creative mind.
The evolution of technology and workplace environment offers employees the opportunity to be up-skilled, diversify their roles and work away from the office yet still achieve optimum work productivity. These factors also allow more room for idea creation, innovation and business collaboration, as long as leaders build the spaces and roll-out the schemes necessary to harness it. Our whitepaper, Managing a Modern Day Workforce discusses how your workforce is set to change and how companies can attract the leader of tomorrow, today. Download our whitepaper now.