Creativity is an important element to have in the workplace. Creativity allows workers the ability to perform tasks or to solve problems in new ways that can often times be more beneficial to a business as a whole. Often, creativity can help to bring a fresh change to a work atmosphere that can inspire workers to be more productive, find joy in their work and to feel reenergized and determined to succeed. Through a mixture of activities focused on creative thinking and artistic expression, workers may become more creative at work. Here are five activities that employees can participate in to help increase workplace creativity and innovation.
1. Play the “What if…?” game. By asking “what if?” employees will be forced to consider different scenarios and outcomes that may result from a specific action. What if you changed the way a task was performed? What if you created or eliminated a workplace procedure? Follow up your what-if questions by asking “How?” How can you reach your goals? How can your business succeed? This is a great game to use at the beginning of department meetings.
2. Swap jobs for a day. If your business has similar duties across departments, have employees swap jobs for a day. An example could be having writers swap positions with editors or sales representatives swap jobs with administrative assistants. Make sure the job swaps aren’t too drastic to avoid failure. Provide employees with basic information to help them succeed, but allow them room to perform tasks in their own unique ways. Follow up with employees after the job swaps to see how they did things differently and to find out what the results were. You may learn of better ways to perform tasks that you haven’t previously considered. You also may realize that an employee is better suited for a different department than where they currently work.
3. Participate in artistic activities. Have your employees take an art or music class together. This can help them to engage in their creative side while also learning valuable team building skills. Music has also been shown to help increase memory skills, enhance writing skills and even strengthen the immune system. Employees can even sign up for adult piano lessons as a group. This will give your employees a unique opportunity to express themselves in a new way while creating a strong sense of bonding amongst them. It will also help employees to relax and de-stress.
4. Have a contest. Contests are a great way to encourage workers to think outside of the box. See who can come up with the most unique blog post topic, who has the craziest, yet most effective idea for increasing sales, or another idea that fits in with your business. By giving employees a competitive edge, you will encourage them to use critical thinking skills to come up with new ideas that could help transform your business.
5. Be a kid again. Sure, in the adult world you’re filled with responsibility. This is especially true in the workplace. While you can’t abandon your responsibilities, you can still indulge in your inner child. Children are known for being extremely creative without trying. Make your office fun and create a bit of a child-like atmosphere. This would work especially well in a cafeteria setting. Add chalkboards and encourage employees to draw on their breaks. Set up a table filled with Legos. It might sound silly, but you’d be surprised by how innovative and creative people can get with child toys like Lego. A basic Google search for Lego creations will show you some of the most advanced forms of technology including even 3-D printers made from the beloved children’s toy. Try having a competition to see who can come up with the most unique, functional Lego creation. You may be surprised by the results.
Kimberly Erskine is an avid writer who possesses the desire and ability to write in a wide range of styles for various topics. She earned her Bachelor’s in Writing Arts, Bachelor’s in English, and Concentration in Creative Writing from Rowan University in 2010. Presently, she serves as a guest writer for BitRebels.com and is a blogging/web content intern for Cloud IT Guru. Kimberly is now working as an Inbound Marketer for Webimax where she works to generate and market various forms of content for her clients.
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