Creativity is often the cornerstone that separates successful companies from their competitors. Many of these same employers also report happier employees.  Studies also show that encouraging creativity in the workplace can attract and retain happier, more productive employees. Establishing a culture of creativity starts at the top level of management and filters to each and every level of the organization. HR professionals are encouraged to work with senior management to implement creativity initiatives that will empower their employees to become successful, happier members that make a difference in their company.

Why is Creativity Important?

Creativity provides both employees and employers with numerous benefits.  When employees work in a creative environment, they often experience more control and enjoyment in their jobs.  Many will feel great pride in knowing that their ideas are important to their company leaders.  This ultimately increases their internal motivation to do a great job, and encourages them to go above and beyond for their employer.  Studies show that happier employees will take fewer sick days from work, and become more productive in the office.  Employers also reap benefits from this creativity.  Employers like Apple who promote creativity are able to stand out as leaders in innovation among their competitors.  Their employees will generate more innovative products and product lines, and remain loyal to their company.  These employers are better able to retain and attract creative employees, and deliver a product or service of the highest quality.

Implementing a Culture of Creativity

Employers can take small steps towards implementing a culture of creativity throughout their entire organization.  Below are some initiatives that can be set in place that will encourage employees to explore their own creativity:

Encourage an Exchange of Ideas

All levels of your organization should be open to ideas to improve company processes.  When implementing new procedures, allow employees to voice their opinions on how to improve process efficiency.  Since they deal with the day-to-day duties, employees may have great ideas on improving the efficiency of certain procedures.

Set Time Aside for Creativity

Encourage employees to foster their creativity by allowing them some free time to focus on improving their jobs.  It can be as little as 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes a day.

Create a Peer Group

Creativity often thrives with the exchange of ideas.  Create a peer group in your office that focuses on improving business procedures and products.  Many employees will feel more comfortable expressing their ideas in a group versus one-on-one directly to a manager.

Include Creativity as Part of the Employee Review

Many employees will feel more compelled to make time for creativity if they feel it will be measured towards their annual job performance.

Reward Creativity

A great way to encourage creativity is to reward employees for their creative contribution.  This can be done through monetary awards, gift cards or awarding days off work.

The Bottom Line

Creativity sets both employees and employers apart from the competition.  When employers encourage creativity among their staff, employees will be happier and more productive.  HR professionals can encourage creativity by introducing initiatives that focus on the exchange of ideas, peer groups, and rewards.