Fostering Creativity in the Workplace

How do we foster that creative edge among employees?   

Creative performance and productivity are directly related to the quality of the organizational culture.  A positive culture fosters clear, direct, open communication.  It increases job satisfaction which, in turn, contributes to employee investment and commitment.  

For it to be effective, organizational culture has to be created and maintained from the top, and has to be part of the mission statement of the company.  Employees need to believe they are valued to contribute at a deeper level.  

3 Key Steps:

  1. Fostering Communication:  Communication should be fostered in all directions both formally and informally.  Formal communication policies can include 360 degree performance evaluations, in which employees are also required to give constructive feedback to managers.  Managers can hold "office hours" on a regular basis to encourage drop in work-related conversations.
  2. Identifying and Nurturing Employee Strengths and Interests within the Company. 
  3. Explicitly Rewarding the Behavior You Want To See:  The culture of secrecy around rewards/incentives (raises, bonuses, promotions, etc.) doesn't foster motivation.   It is important to make the link between specific behaviors/outcomes and incentives explicit. Create clear pathways for people to follow, and make individual achievements and rewards public within the company.