The Simplest Ways To Promote Creativity In Your Team
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Planning, organising and coming up with solutions to an existing problem within your company or business may not be as difficult as it seems. Keeping a business running for a long time may be an advantage to your company, but as times goes by and new businesses within your industry keep on growing; changes need to be made in order to fit the modern trend. And in order to keep your standards well upheld, coming up with creative approaches to keep your projects fresh and ultimately, successful, is definitely a priority.

As a project manager it is your job to inspire your team and encourage them to be creative. And although project management courses can give you the basics on how to do this, you have to be creative and flexible yourself in your approach as every project and team member is different.

Here are the simplest ways to promote creativity in your team:

Motivate and Reward

Find ways to motivate your employees. Yes rewards do tend to work, but sometimes the motivation needs to run a little deeper. Looking into your company's values and relating those to the task is often a really clear way to inspire a team, because it enables them to see the bigger picture. It should provide the team member with a deeper central motivation for the project. Then of course, there are real 'physical' rewards. This could be a frothy coffee at the end of a busy day, a trip to the cinema, or even just their name on a 'you're cool' board. Whatever you think your team would like - be light hearted about it and try to tune into each team members wants, needs and passions.

Motivation builds a way for everyone within the team to not just focus on their tasks but also be creative in ways beneficial to the company.

Good Working Environment

The workplace can often be a person’s second home. And living in a miserable, negative home is not something anyone would wish to be a part of is it really? A job that pays well but doesn’t have a good working environment doesn’t ensure happy employees. It just keeps unhappy employees producing sub standard work at the company for a bit longer.

As project manager you are in charge of your team's happiness. You are giving them workloads, talking them through problems and motivating them to want to do the project. You are very much in charge of their happiness while they are at work, so it's important you do everything you can to provide them with an excellent working environment. If the team is a bit flat, you need to set up a brainstorming session or some project management training sessions such as APMP - whatever it takes to get them excited about the project again. If the team is suffering from conflict you must resolve the conflict professionally using your best listening and communication skills. If the team is stressed you must do what you can to help them relax. The happier your team is, the more open to creativity them will be.

Diverse Skillsets, Common Goals

A job well done is a job done with tender loving care. A person who loves his job willdo nearly anything for the company he works for. Find people suitable for the project not just because they are capable of doing the tasks well, but because they actually care about the tasks assigned to them. And where possible, try to create groups of people who are completely different in their abilities and backgrounds, but who share the same passion for the common goal. Embrace diversity and differences within your group at all times.

If you can get a group of people together who have lots of different skills to offer, but who all share the same passion for the projects common goal, you're on to a winner. Hopefully they will be bouncing ideas off each other repeatedly throughout all stages of the project.

Don't Be The Straw That Breaks Your Team Members Back

Everybody needs a break now and then, and if you're working your team so hard that they literally aren't getting a chance to breath in between tasks, you're shooting yourself in the foot. Why? Because your team members are not having the time they need to recharge, which means they don't have the brain space to actually be creative at all. Yes some people do work best under pressure, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily giving their best under pressure - that's for you to judge. Try to promote regular 'brain breathers' where your team has chance to take five minutes to simply 'be'. Sometimes spontaneous team games can help with this, where you call game time out of the blue and everyone has to suddenly be involved in a simple team game for five minutes which provides an immediate distraction.

If you want to inspire creativity in your team, you don't have to include a 'creatives plan' in your project management framework, but should have some ideas in your head on how you plan to promote creativity and innovation on this project. The rewards of creativity are rich if you can get them, and more often than not that process begins and ends with you being creative in your approach.


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