Earlier this week, I wrote about 5 tips for being a good leader at work. This is a companion piece of sorts, which focuses on ways leaders can encourage out-of-the-box thinking and ingenuity in the workplace. No matter if you are just starting out with your company or if you already have experience in an executive position, inspiration and employee engagement are two topics you can’t simply ignore. It all depends on the team responsible for a particular project, the way in which you to apply certain ideas can save the situation or, by the opposite, can make things turn into a disaster. Inspiration at work is very important and you have to know how to help your employees when they have problems in developing their ideas.
It is not enough to simply ask employees to enhance their creative ideas so that everything works! You’re the head of the company, so you must take care to offer employees what they need. Good ideas do not appear randomly, they appear due to certain factors such as an active communication between team leaders and regular employees and the way in which they behave. If you want to know how to increase the level of inspiration within your team, then read on for 5 great ways in this regard:
1. Reward creativity
If you want your employees to think differently than the crowd, then you must know how to motivate them. You have to take seriously the suggestions they make and look for ways in which those ideas can be implemented. You must not give them the impression that all their ideas are just a waste of time and they will never be implemented. If an employee comes to you with an unorthodox idea, don’t just say “that’s crazy!”. Say “that’s crazy! Now how do we make it work for us?”.
You could try to fix certain goals or you can try to ask each employee to come up with an idea by the end of the week. The one who brings the best suggestion will be rewarded. Remember that your goal is inspiring your employees. Rigidity stifles that.
2. Encourage experimentation
Ideas do not simply appear in “ready-made” formats. Generally, it takes time to go experience failed attempts to implement the idea. You must take care of your own team, so you should encourage experimentation with different plans until they are ready. After several attempts, they will be seen in a different light, and the idea will catch life easier.
Employee training also plays an important role into the development of creativity, so make sure to look behind the traditional training means. We live in world of multiple devices, non-linear thought processes and a healthy bit of chaos (in a good way). Try to implement a continuous learning strategy with the help of m-learning and technological assets. For instance, technology such as WalkMe enables you to softly guide your employees toward reaching their objectives, and then reward them once they complete certain task. This way you’ll boost their inspiration and learning will. You can also employ gamification techniques, increasingly popular in the workplace, to encourage participation and brave thinking, and reward employees accordingly.
3. Allow room for failures
If you all “play” with ideas, then you should expect failure to appear at one point or another. It is normal and you don’t have to force your employees to apologize for every mistake. If people are afraid of failure and what happens when plans fail, then the creativity will decrease. Let every man to come up with ideas, to take risks, make mistakes, seek solutions and understand that anything is possible. Again, if you’re looking for a way to decrease the risk of mistakes, then technology will certainly prove helpful.
4. Create a positive mindset
Sometimes being too serious hurts! Agitation and related problems can stop the development of inspiration, so it is time for some relaxation and fun. If all you do is to create stressful environment, than the only part which your employees are going to love will be the one when they get to go home.
You must leave room for relaxation, socialization, and to accept ideas which seem strange to consider into your development plans at first. This extends beyond just outside-of-the-office fun days. It’s about engaging employees, and creating an interesting and attractive work culture. If you turn the office into a fun place, then the relations between the employees will change, people will be calmer, and good ideas will not cease to appear.
5. Don’t let the good concepts waste!
With all the fuss around, you might become elusive to ideas which are in fact really good. As mentioned above: nothing can demoralize an employee more than ignoring a good idea. Examine all the proposals that are on your desk and work around to discover something really good inside them, do not let the concepts get lost.
Implement these 5 tips into your regular office environment and you’ll be amazed by how quickly results will start to appear. Not only the inspiration level inside your company will rise, but your employees will be more satisfied with their jobs as well.