12 Ways to Cultivate A Creative Company Culture

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While business owners have start companies with high-profit margins in mind, reaching this goal is not easy.

From precocious human resources management to a steady rise in productivity, numerous factors can make or break an enterprise.

In creative industries, such as marketing or video games development, where firms rely on creativity to generate value, cultivating a creative company culture is essential.

There are at least 12 ways you can achieve this bur only if you get every employee on the same page in terms of the company’s growth goals.

12 Ways to Cultivate a Creative Company Culture

Ways to Cultivate a Creative Company Culture

1. Off-site Team Building

One of your HR department’s favorite creativity-boosting activities is team building. From a writing workshop to whitewater rafting, there is a huge multitude of activities employees can embark on together so as to strengthen team spirit.

However, you should be aware that ream building is a double-edged sword. Namely, if your workers work long hours or their job is particularly stressful (who mentioned tight deadlines?), then they won’t be thrilled to find out that a team-building activity is scheduled for the next weekend.

People need time to rest even during work hours, so it would be unfair to cut this time short. Team building is a great way to boost creativity only if it takes place during regular office hours.

For instance, if the time to go home on Friday is 5 PM, let the workers be creative and productive until noon that day and then take them to a paintball arena where you’ll all stay until late afternoon.

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2. Encourage Design Thinking

Creativity is traditionally associated with solving problems. A person or a team who think outside the box can save you thousands of dollars in operational costs or generate millions in revenue. These are all reasons why you should actively encourage design thinking in the office, creating a company culture out of it.

Essentially, workers will approach problem-solving in different ways, researching, setting goals, and coming up with inventive services or products through brainstorming based on data.

This is how design thinking works on an individual level but if all employees demonstrate the same level of dedication, you will end up with a myriad of solutions to consider and implement.

3. Brainstorming Alongside Managers

Speaking of brainstorming, this isn’t an activity that clerical employees should do on their own. If you wish to reach creativity stardom, then junior and senior managers need to tag along. While creative workers come up with new ideas and concepts, managers will get a unique insight into how magic is created.

This can be essential for sales managers who will learn new points to pitch the products or services to end customers. Not to mention the fact that employees will feel as if top management has their back throughout the creative process.

4. Creativity At All Levels

Managers and office workers brainstorming together isn’t the only joint creativity session that ought to take place in your company. Creativity is a value that needs to be nurtured at all levels of the company, from the CEO to the night janitor, as funny as it may seem.

Take for example a typical situation in the break room: a superior sees several employees laughing their hearts out over a cup of coffee in the middle of the workday. If the industry they worked in wasn’t creative, then these workers would be reprimanded and even get punished by a pay cut.

However, a boss who is aware that creativity leady to productivity will let the folks have their laughs because they will return to their desk invigorated and motivated to get the job done. In fact, good entrepreneurs will furnish the break room in a way that it has all the essentials for relaxation and fun.

Resource: Office Of The Future: Design Trends To Foster Creativity

5. The Importance of Having A Break Room

So what are the things typical break room has? The answer to this question is not universal because each break room “caters” to the needs of different individuals.

Some people like to play video games during work breaks (or organize a tournament after hours), while others prefer the peace and quiet. For this reason, bigger enterprises have more than one break room.

Furthermore, break rooms are often paired up with lounges and kitchens, because taking a break from work is the ideal opportunity to grab a bite to eat.

In the morning, most people like to make their own coffee (a ritual of sorts), so the kitchen should feature coffee machines for various types of coffee. After an adrenaline rush, employees think quicker, getting more done within a shorter time span.

6. Frequent Breaks Instead of Long Ones

As the name suggests, the break room is a place where employees take their breaks. In reality, they can take them wherever they like but there is no need to leave the firm and go far away because the breaks should be short. One of the biggest creativity killers are long breaks that lead to leniency and laziness.

In order to facilitate creativity, office breaks should be short, up to 15 minutes but they should be taken several times a day (the only exceptions are breakfast and lunch breaks).

When on a break, an employee gets a chance to clear their mind and brainstorm more efficiently than sitting at the desk. After all, the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche didn’t claim for any reason that: “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

7. Opening Up Office Space

Next up, the space where employees spend hours in end needs to spur creativity, instead of being drab like most office spaces. The last thing you need is for your employees to feel stressed out because their office, desk, or cubicle are cramped or not aired enough.

The ideal “creative” office space should be open, well-lit, and with plenty of fresh air circulating through it. Each desk should feature a personal lamp that will provide excellent visibility after dark. Furthermore, the room should be aired often and if this is not possible, a solid air ventilation system should be installed.

Finally, for companies that hire tens or hundreds of workers, an open plan office is the best way to go. Although there have been issues with these types of offices recently, they are still the best way to house a large number of workers. Of course, if your creative workers need absolute peace and quiet, they should be allowed to work from a home office.

8. Creative From The Start

The labor market is fluid now more than ever. This means you are able to get the best talent to join your enterprise but it also means you’ll have people coming and going more often. What you can do is establish a sort of a creativity “starter pack” for new employees where you’ll explain to them the importance of being creative.

In this sense, creativity becomes an integral part of the company policy from day one. Once newbies start chatting with their peers, they will realize that these measures aren’t mere ink on paper, as the entire workforce is genuinely dedicated to cultivating creativity.

9. Turning Notice Boards Into “Dream Boards”

In most companies, notice boards are plain dull and cluttered with irrelevant announcements. However, a notice board doesn’t have to be boring in terms of content.

If no one is reading it, then turn it into a “dream board” that would aim to boost creativity by acting as an offline brainstorming recorder.

Namely, employees should be encouraged to pin their ideas, thoughts, and dreams on it; both work-related and personal (if they wish to).

This will allow their coworkers and managers to see what they are up to and in which direction their creative thinking is heading. Who knows, perhaps someone else is thinking the same, so they can pair up.

10. Fitness Shenanigans

Have you ever given out complimentary fitness passes to employees only to have them collect dust? On the other side, when you cancel these benefits since they are apparently a waste of money, people suddenly start complaining.

The reason behind this odd employees’’ behavior is the fact that not all people are the same. In most companies, only a small fraction of workers exercise regularly, while others occasionally shoot hoops or go cycling.

However, there is a direct link between physical activity and creativity so the fitness programs should stay. As one person stops going to the gym, another employee will take up weightlifting, so in the end, fitness passes are worth the effort. What is more, you might want to give each employee a fitness tracker to help them monitor their progress.

11. Ah, Those Fridays

In Medieval times, carnivals were the periods when the world would go upside down as beggars dressed up like nobility. In modern times, the corporate culture has those beloved “casual Fridays” when everything goes.

Usually, this applies to attire but as suits and formal wear lose their importance in the world of business, you should aim to make Fridays casual in more than one aspect.

For instance, people could get a chance to leave work early if they finish everything on time. Then, you could stack the fridge with ciders, punch, and fruit wine to be consumed at the end of the workday.

Finally, managers could ask workers what they liked and disliked about the previous week. A Friday is an important day, as this is the time when you sum up the previous week and prepare yourself for the challenges of the coming Monday.

12. “How much do you earn?”

People are inquisitive by nature, so naturally, employees want to know how much their peers are making annually. A transparent salary policy is something most companies shy away from but the creative industry should be different.

When everyone knows how much the person sitting next to them is making, then they have one reason less to gossip about each other next to the coffee machine. As a result, this frees up time for more creative topics regarding work-related issues.

A final method to get your staff thinking is to publish the salary formula, so they can calculate the amount of money they will receive on their own. This gets them involved in the process and it shows them that you are a transparent employer with nothing to hide.

Wrapping Up

Creative company culture is not simply established but rather cultivated over a prolonged period. The 12 methods listed above are just some of the most effective ways you can spur creativity in the office.

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Author: Emma Williams