How to Boost Employee Creativity and Benefit the Business

Even in “normal” times, creativity and innovation are prized business qualities. But in today’s challenging landscape, these traits have become virtually priceless. Organizations that place a high priority on new ways of thinking are those most likely to emerge in a stronger position once the present-day challenges fade away.

Here at Baillie Lumber, we know great ideas don’t just come from the top. Whether it be one of our hardwood foresters, our sawmill managers, or hardwood lumber traders, every individual who works here and serves our customer has potentially great ideas to make us even better at what we do. That’s why we strive to foster an innovative culture from an employee’s first day on the job. encouragecreativity

Why is this so important? Because “creative people think from different perspectives and ask questions that can be quite pertinent from a customer’s point of view,” notes Work It Daily. Ultimately, “answering these questions [will] satisfy customers and grow business.” 

Here are a few thoughts we found worth keeping in mind for boosting employee creativity within your organization: 

Start with the hiring process. You can invest your culture with creative individuals right from the outset, if you hire for this trait. When interviewing potential job candidates, “ask if they have offered ideas on improving operations and processes” in their prior positions. The answers they provide will offer clues as to their “creativity potential.” 

Encourage originality within the ranks. Employees are sometimes reluctant to come forward with new ideas, because of potential negative repercussions. It’s up to you to make clear that all ideas are welcome—“even (or especially) those that run counter to ‘how things are done around here.’” While it’s impractical to implement every new suggestion, offering feedback and positive reinforcement increase the odds that fresh new ideas will keep coming forward. 

Move beyond “silo thinking.” Employees working within a particular department may have ideas about how to improve business functions in that area. But they may also have fresh insights into other parts of your business operations. Look for ways to cross-pollinate thinking by putting together special project teams from different departments. A free-flowing exchange of ideas may result in beneficial suggestions. 

Offer “creative break-time.” There might be ways for you to revise employee work schedules in order to set aside time for brainstorming sessions. Seek out opportunities to gather employees in small groups and set a challenge for them to address within a set time-frame. As noted, emphasize that all ideas are welcome. Also, make clear that you won’t inconvenience employees or otherwise disrupt their normal work schedules. 

Focus on continuous education. By encouraging continuous learning opportunities, you increase the chances that creative employees will come up with new solutions to pressing operational and/or customer service issues. In the past continuous education typically meant attending conferences, seminars, or offsite classes where employees would build their expertise and also meet new people and be exposed to environments and ideas. With the challenges we face today, many of those options are not available. However, that does not mean you can’t still encourage continual education. There are many virtual seminars, conferences, classes, and programs you can now do "internally" and can still offer the same benefit to you and your employees. 

Your employees are among your most valuable assets. By encouraging them to think outside-the-box, you may unleash a wave of creative thinking that can help resolve long-standing business problems, while also setting a new path for the future. 

What ways have you found effective in encouraging your employee's creativity? We would love to hear your thoughts!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




quotebuttonRequest a hardwood lumber quote!
Click Here

© 1999 - 2023 - Baillie Lumber Co. All Rights Reserved. Developed and Managed by CESSON