How can you encourage staff creativity?

Employment & Skills | National | Reports


UK employees feel they’re most creative at 11:05am, according to new research by innovation funding specialists MPA Group.

The survey of 1,000 UK office workers looked into the time of day employees feel most creative, and which working environments best help to stimulate our creativity. The morning was the most creative time across all industries, with the overwhelming majority claiming their best ideas come between 10am and 11.30am.

When asked what kind of working environment best encourages creativity, a quiet office was the most popular choice, with 43% of workers claiming this will help them to create their most innovative ideas, followed by a comfortable break out space (28%), and colourful or vibrant walls (22%). Only one in seven (14%) felt they could be creative in an environment where music was playing and being surrounded by other creative people is only a stimulus for less than one in five workers (19%).

MPA Group teamed up with a range of industry experts to produce a guide on maximising creativity.

Biophilic design

Kevin McIntosh is Head of Design at Chameleon Business Interiors. Kevin believes in the value of green space: “The number one office trend is a move to go greener with elements such as living walls – a trend known as ‘biophilic design’. Studies at Exeter University show that biophilic design can boost creativity and increase productivity by up to 15%, just by having a few house plants in an office space. It is also proven to reduce stress, blood pressure levels, and heart rate.”

Set time aside

Vic Ulfik, Operations Manager at MPA Group, said: “You’ll never truly realise the creative potential of your workforce unless you give them the opportunity to push boundaries. Make sure you set aside time purely for research and development, where the focus is on innovation and progress, rather than simply performing everyday tasks.”

Encourage autonomy

James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO at Frank Recruitment Group, said: “In any business, good teamwork is vital for long-term success, but in my experience encouraging a healthy amount of autonomy across your organisation fosters the kind of confidence and creativity that a business needs to grow and truly compete in its industry.

“I’ve always felt that it’s better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, and that philosophy inspires our employees to claim their independence.”

Reward creativity

Sue Andrews is an HR and Business Consultant at KIS Finance. She said: “Encourage creativity by recognising and rewarding those who find ways to bring creativity and innovation to life. Monetary reward is one route but investing in them as an individual, through further development opportunities, will have a longer-term impact on their motivation.”

Embrace failure

Finally, Steven Garrod, Managing Director at MPA Group, commented: “Failure is part and parcel of business life and unless you and your employees accept this, you may discourage risk-taking and creativity. Treat every attempt as an opportunity to learn and as another step towards your ultimate goal.”

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