How to get your team out of a creative rut
HOW TO GET YOUR TEAM OUT OF A CREATIVE RUT

Lack of inspiration can be your worst enemy, and it can hit you anytime. Teams get stale from time to time for all sorts of reasons. After all, everyone is looking at the same data, interacting with the same people, and having the same conversations. So, it’s no surprise that the ideas coming up feel as though they’ve been done before. If you want to unlock your employees’ creative potential, try these simple tips.

  1. SWITCH UP THE ROUTINE

Routine, although structuring, can easily become mind numbing and consistency can morph into complacency. In the process, employees can consciously or unconsciously forgo the possibility of further progress or change and in turn lose their sense of creativity. Sometimes, all you need to boost innovative juices, is change things up a bit.

Have your employees participate in workshops, courses, seminars and read materials that are outside the scope of their area of expertise. From time to time, have them volunteer, participate in team building & training exercises and even travel to different countries. The more they can get out of their routine, the better it is. They will be exposed to completely different ways of thinking. This will greatly boost their creativity and problem solving capabilities.

And remember, creativity doesn’t come from doing the same things the same exact way. Getting a little uncomfortable even in small ways can help spark your employees’ creativity.

  1. ENCOURAGE FRIENDLY COMPETITION

Competition is a big driver of motivation, creativity, performance, and innovation. It pushes people to be better. A little competition among the employees would not hurt. A competitive environment is a productive environment. Encourage employees to participate in competitions or challenges as it’s healthy from time to time and may actually lead to increased camaraderie.

Friendly competition amongst teams helps with employee engagement and employee participation. Additionally, the more competition influencing your employees to accomplish something, the more motivated they will be to head to work each morning and think up new innovative and creative ways to stay on top. Incentives push people to become more creative and find new ways of doing things. Competing with each other will inspire employees to get creative, put in more effort, work harder, and become more productive.[1]

  1. BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS

When you hear the word “brainstorming,” what comes to mind? People in a room yelling out random thoughts? Chaos? An exercise for designers and creative types? In other words, something OPD (other people do—not you). Maybe it’s time to give it a second look.

Brainstorming is typically conducted in a facilitated session or workshop environment to stimulate creative thinking, to create novel or innovative solutions to a problem, and to introduce “controlled chaos” into the thought process. It is the most widely used technique to cultivate ideas. It is based on the principle that “many brains are often better than one.”[2]

Brainstorming is a business technique that can work for any department, in any type of business, especially HR. Schedule a meeting with employees to bounce ideas around. Having regular idea-generation sessions keeps the flow of inspiration and creativity going.

  1. EMBRACE FAILURE

“Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?” – Thomas John Watson Sr.

No one truly likes to fail. It can drag you down mentally and physically. At the same time, failure gets a raw deal. Even though it hurts, it’s one of the best and most effective ways to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to let your employees experiment and try new things. If something doesn’t work, they can learn what went wrong and try again. Who knows? The second time around, they may knock it out of the park. But the truth is that they may not have been so successful if they hadn’t stumbled during their first attempt.

This is where managers and senior leaders can play a key role in helping change attitudes by sharing their own blunders and mishaps. Just because you’re in a senior role doesn’t mean you’re immune to mistakes either. The difference though is how you deal with it afterwards, and that’s the point to be made.[3] Changing your attitude towards failure will switch up your employees’ thinking, and show them the benefits the inevitably bumpy journey will bring.

  1. ENGAGE THE SENSES

Employees are most engaged when all five senses are stimulated. Most creative experiences come from combining two seemingly unrelated ideas. Encouraging the flow of non-sequitur ideas through sensory experiences can help employees find new inspiration.[4] When you deliver a sensory experience to the workplace, you transform purely functional spaces into energising environments where employees find more meaning, fun, success and fulfilment in their work.

For example, you might hang thought-provoking abstract art on the walls, regularly fill the office with new scents or play unconventional music through your loudspeakers. Doing so will help employees think in new ways and become more stimulated by their environment. As an added bonus, most of these additions have a calming or satisfying effect on people — so your team will feel happier and will be more productive in addition to being more creative.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”- Maya Angelou

Inspiring creativity within your team isn’t a luxury. It’s imperative if you want to boost employee productivity and stay top of mind with your customers and thrive as a business for years to come.

Mshimba Michelle


[1] https://www.hubgets.com/blog/healthy-competition-improves-productivity-atwork/

[2] https://www.projectmanagement.com/wikis/233029/Brainstorming

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/voicesfromeurope/2018/12/03/why-embracing-and-discussing-failure-is-good-for-your-company-culture/#4a5a03b068ae

[4] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/271905

title - why human resource is the ultimate resource
WHY HUMAN RESOURCE IS THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE

Today’s world is seemingly rife with entrepreneurial minds looking for the fastest route to a million – competition is everywhere. Monetising your own services, hobbies and talents is so common. It’s easy to forget the value other people can bring you. Fact – Healthy, educated and motivated people develop resources per their requirements i.e. only people can give value to anything by making it useful. Here’s three reasons human resource is the ultimate resource:

Team, Product, Success – In that order:

Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have created success by cultivating a working environment with three key ingredients – qualified staff, resources and the freedom to create. Alongside genuine innovation, more companies would approach the phenomenal success created by ‘the big three’ if more directors built the ‘right’ teams to research and experiment, and afforded them the freedom to find the “golden angle”.

In an unprecedented experiment, Microsoft Japan tested out a four day work week and the results were what you would expect. Employees were happier, meetings more efficient and productivity rose a staggering 40%. While you may not have the significant resources Microsoft does, the principle remains the same – we are all people and should be treated as such. Benefit packages, paid time off and open door policies are a myriad of ways your human resources department can boost creativity and productivity in your employees.[1]

Invest in them and they’ll invest in you.

Brilliance attracts brilliance:

You might find yourself asking – What if I invest in my employees and they leave? Consider the alternative – What if you don’t and they stay? People coming and going is as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. It’s a reality you’ll continually have to accept, regardless of ‘who’ you are. The only thing worse than a valuable employee leaving is paying for an unproductive, uncreative and uninspired employee. It is your duty as an employer to create the best environment for your employees to flourish. Do that and your company will attract the brightest minds without much effort while happy customers sing praises of your excellent products and services.

Diversify your team, Diversify your portfolio:

Conglomerates have proven time and time again that diversified investments are a sure way of making money in what can be risky and unpredictable industries. Think Louis Vuitton, Moët and Hennessy (LVMH) who’s reach spans massive fashion houses like Fenty, Bulgari and Dior to renowned distilleries like Moët and Hennessy![2]

Organisations should openly embrace ‘business diversity’ because people are creative! Encourage them to experiment, fail and learn. If the result is that a company will produce multiple concepts and products isn’t it worth it to find a team capable of doing just that from the very beginning? [3]

Now that you realise all you have to gain by recruiting and training the best, you’re wondering – What now? While we still maintain that the best environments attract the best employees, sometimes you need a head start. We strive to deliver the most innovative human resource solutions to add value to our customers. Whether you have a position that needs filling or a team you would like to invest in, here at The Manpower Company, we believe in people.

Follow us on Facebook at “TMC Kenya” for even more insights.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/04/microsoft-japan-four-day-work-week-productivity

[2] https://www.lvmh.com/

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2015/10/08/4-reasons-to-invest-in-people-not-companies/#7e95d7e247cb

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