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Different Ways to Promote Creativity in the Workplace

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | Different Ways to Promote Creativity in the WorkplaceWhen it comes to the workplace, people often emphasize traditional themes such as productivity and collaboration. However, there are many other valuable traits that employees can bring to the office and that managers should embrace. One of the most underrated features that you should promote in your workplace is creativity. Creativity can have a multitude of benefits for you and your workers, such as increased output and a higher sense of enthusiasm. Here are some simple but effective ways to foster creativity among your employees.

Give Employees Room to Explore

You’ll never know what your team is capable of if you don’t give them the chance to test their boundaries. To truly let your employees thrive, give them plenty of space to explore new opportunities and ask new questions. Engaging in this form of self-discovery allows your employees to have a sense of freedom while doing their jobs. Always be open to their suggestions and encourage them to propose new ideas. While not every attempt will be successful, each one can give your team a valuable learning experience that has the potential to help them thrive.

Use the Right Tools

The tools that your company utilizes on a day-to-day basis ultimately define its approach to creativity in the workplace. In order to make the most of the tools and technology that your employees use, make sure to confirm that they foster creative thinking in every way. It’s always a good idea to regularly evaluate your company’s technology to ensure that it’s facilitating your employees’ work as much as possible. From updated devices to new workflow automation software, making use of the proper tools can give your team more space to explore their creativity.

Celebrate Diversity

If you’re looking for a way to naturally incorporate creativity into your team, try to pay attention to the employees themselves. Members of diverse teams are much more likely to bring a variety of thoughts, opinions and suggestions to the table. This wide array of ideas can feed the overall creativity in your workplace and increase everyone’s enthusiasm as a result. Whether an employee has a suggestion about a project she’s working on or a proposal regarding the new Miratech software, you never know what kinds of ideas you’ll encounter when you emphasize diversity.

Don’t be hesitant about exploring the creative potential of your team at work. If you embrace this valuable trait, you can watch your employees thrive in a variety of ways.

Engagement in the Implementation of Strategic Intent

The Opportunity

Every day, I see businesses struggling to achieve high levels of long-term performance. Upon scrutiny I often find that they have – on paper – excellent and well thought out strategic plans. Their shortcomings are normally in the applications of the strategic plan and I find they usually fall into one of three areas; I call them gaps:

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Engagement in the Implementation of Strategic Intent

As they seek to improve on their year to year performance, I find many firms ardently working on the focus and alignment gap. Yet the improvement in their results do not seem to mirror their efforts – not at all. First, since the advent of Hoshin Kanri (HK) planning firms have found an excellent model to achieve focus and alignment both vertically and horizontally, throughout their entire firm. HK planning can be a very effective technique, even if not practiced fully as taught by Yoji Akao. Second, by any objective measure, the greatest opportunity to improve results is achieved by closing the Engagement Gap. Typical engagement levels across the US are in the 30% range and for manufacturing they are even lower, around 25%. Since most firms are in the 25-30% range and world class is 75% engagement, the gulf between what is typical and what is attainable is huge. The engagement gap is the target rich environment for improvement that firms need to exploit if they wish to attain long-term, strong performance.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Engagement in the Implementation of Strategic Intent | Sustaining Workforce EngagementWhat Is The Engagement Profile?

Gallup has defined 3 categories of engagement: the “engaged”; the “not-engaged”; and the “actively disengaged”. The engaged are those people who are moving & shaking, making improvements, and genuinely care about what goes on at the business. This is around 30% of the entire work population. The “not-engaged” are doing what is necessary, they follow all the rules – but not much else. They are often working in a fog and seem to be sleep-walking their way through the day. They comprise around 52% of the work population. Then there are the “actively disengaged”. These are the people who might be fighting to stay on the payroll – or not. Regardless they are resistive, contrary and fighting the system at every turn in the road. They comprise 18% of the workforce.

Just What Is Engagement?

There are two commonly held management paradigms about engagement which are widely held, but unfortunately, they are both wrong:

  • Engagement is equal to hard working and
  • Engagement is a “worker thing”

Engaged workers have three very salient qualities. First, they are physically committed, so they are hard working. They have body commitment. Second, they are intellectually committed so they are actively working to make improvements to the process and the product. They have head commitment. Third, they are interested in the business and care that it succeeds. They have heart commitment. Being engaged in the workplace encompasses hard work but it goes well beyond that.

As for engagement being only a worker thing – as if the supervisors, managers and denizens of the C-suite were naturally engaged – is a myth. Although management engagement is somewhat higher, at 35% it is nowhere near world class levels. In most firms, there is ample improvement room for everyone.

What’s The Appropriate Response?

With your business in need of an infusion of “whatever it takes to succeed” you need look no further than improving your engagement. With 70% either not-engaged or actively disengaged, you clearly have a target rich environment. And just how do you capture that? The answer is technically simple but operationally has proven to be a major problem to many. To get employees engaged it is as simple as management making sure that all people:

1. Know what to do
2. Know how to do it
3. Have the resources to do it
And 4, that management focus on creating an environment where it is possible for people to perform.

Sounds Simple? Think You Are Already Doing This?

If you believe you and your firm are accomplishing this simple list of 4 items above, then why is your firm not attaining long-term, strong performance? If you take a cold, hard, dispassionate and introspective look at that deficiency, it is virtually impossible to not find needed improvement in one or more of the categories above.
Give the 4 items above your management attention and you’ll have not only a healthy, happy and productive workforce, but strong long-term performance as well.


About the Author

Lonnie Wilson is the author of Sustaining Workforce Engagement: How To Ensure Your Employees Are Healthy, Happy, And Productive and founder of Quality Consultants where clients include firms in manufacturing as well as the fields of education, healthcare and other service sectors. Quality Consultants serves small firms as well as Fortune 500 firms in North, South, Central America, and China.

For more information, please visit www.qc-ep.com.

Alternative Development Best Practice 2 – Organizationally Developed Options

It’s hard to find an executive who doesn’t believe that his or her people are significant assets and a competitive advantage for the company. Why then are so few employees involved in the strategic planning process? Engaging employees gains their ‘rubber meets the road’ customer and process experiences and earns buy-in it for the plan’s implementation. Therefore, employee involvement in strategic planning is a win-win proposition; the only question remaining is when and where in the process to involve them.


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Additional Information

For an illustrative model of an organization’s hierarchical roles and responsibilities, see StrategyDriven’s Strategic Organizational Alignment model.

For additional insights to the involvement of managers and employees in the alternative development process, listen to the StrategyDriven’s special edition podcast, An Interview with Nilofer Merchant, author of The New How.

Magic Motivators to Boost Energy Levels In the Office

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |Office Culture|Magic Motivators to Boost Energy Levels In the OfficeWhen people drag their feet into work on a Monday morning it seems like there is no way to bring the energy levels back up. Of course not every office is going to be perfect but you could do a lot of things to keep your workforce happy. With regards to employee motivation, you need to start thinking creatively and get the ball rolling with some fresh ideas. Whether you subscribe to a reward scheme or you organize a team away day, this could be your recipe to higher energy in the office.

Rewards and Recognition

One of the best ways to improve the energy and motivation in the office is to show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work. Surprise HR (https://surprisehr.com) has reinvented employee recognition and rewards using the power of surprise. If you think your office could benefit from this sort of scheme then start exploring your options today. When you are able to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work, you will be giving them a mini motivation boost every single day.

Free Fruit Day

This is a simple and low cost way to put a smile on your employees faces every now and again. Once a week you could invest in a fresh fruit delivery from a local farm shop. Not only will you be helping a local business, but you will also be encouraging your employees to be healthy. Somebody who has snacked on a banana or an apple mid afternoon is much more likely to have a productive day than a worker who hits the vending machine for a sugar hit.

Team Lunch

You should never underestimate the power of a team lunch. Not only does this give them the opportunity to let loose and chat in a relaxed environment, but it also shows them you care. Treat your star team members to lunch or even a gift voucher for a local restaurant on pay day. This regular treat will become a huge motivating factor so your workforce are more likely to do well.

Away Day Fun

Employee away days are very common in small and large businesses. It gives you time away from the office and allows everybody to get to know each other in a fresh environment. Away days can come in a variety of different forms, depending on the industry you are working in. It might be appropriate to head to a local event and listen to a guest speaker. Maybe your team could benefit from a relaxing day out together to avoid the high stresses in the office. Think of an away day that is suitable for your individual business.

Sometimes a little can go a very long way when it comes to pleasing your employees. A piece of free fruit in the middle of the week or an unexpected lunch on a Friday night just be all you need to keep your workforce happy and smiling. Rewarding your employees for their hard work will not only improve the mood in the office, but it will also help you to retain staff, saving you money in the long run.

Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Productivity Loss

StrategyDriven Business Politics Impacts Article | Business Politics Impacts – Cost of Employee Productivity LossUnseen millions are lost by companies every year; the result of employees withholding the full commitment of their physical, intellectual, and emotional contributions. Surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization identified an 18 percent difference in productivity between the best and worst performing companies.1 Yet, as we shall explain, even the best performing companies have room for improvement.


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