If you own a small business or startup that depends heavily on the creative energy of your employees, the one thing you probably fear as much as a natural disaster is them having a creative block. If so, take heart in the words of the magnificent Maya Angelou, who said that “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Rather than being seen as definitive hurdles, blocks should be treated as nothing more than what they are – distress calls that remind creatives that they need the rest, enjoyment and tranquillity which together can give rise to that Eureka! Moment. After all, the more you force creativity, the more it resists, leading to greater frustration. If you wish to encourage the creative flow in your employees, consider these methods, all of which have been scientifically validated.
Encourage Them To Play Minecraft At Break Time
It may sound like the last thing you would ever say to an employee but, “How about a game of Minecraft?” can actually get those creative juices flowing more than you realise. A study published in July 2019 by scientists at Iowa State University found that playing Minecraft can help because it encourages the exercise of creative freedom. In the study, those told to be creative while playing were actually the least creative – so if you opt for this mode of creative inspiration, allow players to simply enjoy the game, without receiving instructions.
Offer Art Workshops At Work
If you work in engineering, science or medicine, then creativity is a key skill that will enable you to work round various obstacles. It is for no small reason that companies like Google offer employees a host of creative, extracurricular classes in addition to official training. A study undertaken at the University of Houston showed that producing art actually improves skills like problem solving.
Many corporate arts-based learning programs exist, based on the way that learning to draw natural forms, painting, carving and other pursuits can awaken the intuitive mind, enable employees to see more nuances and details, and encourage design thinking. If you’re interested in this activity, know that classes can be focused on specific skills, including encouraging teamwork, product development, and improving communication. Something as simple as taking employees outside to paint something inspirational can have a big effect on their innovation and idea generation.
Empower Your Employees
A study by researchers at Rice University found that managers can boost employee creativity by empowering leadership and earning employees’ trust. Doing so begins by establishing clear goals, roles and procedures. Once everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and where they’re heading, it is easier for them to trust their managers and their company. Giving employees a say in how things are done, listening to vital feedback, and tweaking aspects such as procedure can help them feel like their work matters, putting them in the right frame of mind they need to be their most creative selves.
Encouraging employee trust, offering art classes, and encouraging staff to play creative video games are three ways to boost creativity at work. There are many more, including meditation, listening to music, and spending time in nature. If one thing rings true for most experiments on the subject, it is that taking an out-of-the-box approach to creativity is sometimes better than demanding something that simply cannot be forced.