How Not to Kill Creativity in the Workplace

Many businesses benefit tremendously from creativity. After all, creativity often leads directly to innovation. Innovation can help companies solve problems and get ahead of their competition. However, sometimes, companies accidentally create work environments that kill creativity.

A business may not even be aware that its policies are having a negative impact on creativity. It may just slowly realize that new ideas have stopped flowing in, and that the company has become too closeminded and boring.

Creativity in the workplace can help companies to earn higher profits. Therefore, it should be cultivated. Here are some great strategies for how not to kill creativity in the workplace.

1. Reward Helpful New Ideas

Your employees will be much more likely to tap into their creative sides if there is some good positive incentive to do so. For example, if your company needs a particular problem solved, you can offer a gift card to a nice local restaurant to the person who solves it. You can also offer things like a paid day off work, or an all-expenses paid brief vacation, if the problem is very large.

2. Avoid Extensive Criticism or Public Shaming

Oftentimes, before the right solution is reached, many wrong solutions will be proposed. However, this is typically a necessary and helpful step towards success. But if you make your employees afraid of pitching new ideas or trying new things by overly criticizing or embarrassing them, then they will be far less likely to present new ideas. So if you want to encourage creativity in the workplace, don’t be too harsh!

3. Suggestion Box

Even if you incentivize creativity and are not overly critical, some of your employees may still be too shy to present their ideas in front of the other employees. So, you can solve this problem by allowing them to present ideas confidentially with a suggestion box. The anonymity provided by suggestion boxes can help you to get the most out of all of your team members.

4. Lead by Example

You can show your team members that creativity is encouraged and welcomed by your company by creating brainstorming sessions and sitting in on them. During these sessions, you can contribute ideas too, and work with your employees to find solutions. Your employees may be highly encouraged by this type of collaboration, and it may help to set their creativity free.


Most companies have to adapt, innovate, or at least come up with some new ideas every now and then to stay competitive. For this reason, creativity should be encouraged, and not killed at your office. Creativity is extremely helpful for problem solving. Following these tips can help you to create a highly creative atmosphere at your company!

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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