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What is the Connection Between Creativity and Employee Engagement?

Rachel Reed
7/23/20 12:22 PM

Creativity across all organizational departments can be a secret weapon for employee engagement and overall business success. 

Creative ideas come from every individual, not necessarily just from those with creative jobs. Fresh perspectives are unique to every individual. And it’s that kind of unexpected creativity that pushes boundaries, disrupts tradition and builds competitive advantage. Some companies built for innovation have baked-in policies specifically designed for this type of creative thinking. 3M, for example, adopted a policy that encouraged employees to take Innovation Time Off (ITO), leading to the discovery of the Post It note. 

Now more than ever, traditional problem solving (doing what has worked in the past) needs a refresh to combat a constant state of change. 

Break the barriers of roles, qualifications, and credentials to solve problems through creativity

A creative mindset is key for understanding customers. Whether an employee is tasked with a creative project or taking customer service calls, their unique input can pave the way for company-wide improvement. 

There is a correlation between employee engagement and creativity. Those with the time, space, and encouragement to think and contribute freely, regardless of failure, breeds confidence among teams and can produce unexpected innovation. Employees who are disengaged are less likely to contribute ideas to the company. 

A study by Krueger & Killham published by the Gallup Management Journal found that 59% of engaged employees say that their job ‘brings out their most creative ideas’. Of the surveyed employees who were disengaged, only 3% said the same thing.

An employee thinking creatively is an employee thinking empathetically. Making changes and improvements from the viewpoint of a customer returns a holistically better product or service that directly speaks to and solves customer and client pain points. 

A culture of recognition and collaboration provides an opportunity for ideas to flow freely. Creativity stems naturally from the most analytical of employees when supported by an open, honest, and encouraging environment. 

Inclusively allowing creative freedom among departments will enable employees to innovate whether it’s improving on existing practices or developing solutions for new customer challenges. Allow employees space and time to collaborate and brainstorm. You’ll be supporting the potential for big ideas through small cultural shifts, your workforce will be empowered, and your employees will be more engaged. 

Download: How Employee Recognition Influences Attitude & Behavior in the Workplace 

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