In 2017, the Creative Economy in the UK boasted 3.12 million jobs, with a growth of 80,000 jobs across the Creative Industries. Creative workers are finding their way into the corporate world with bigger pushes on innovative marketing and sales campaigns; from Nike’s immersive video game which transports runners into a virtual world, to Marmite’s Gene Project, a play on its love it or hate it reputation. However, many companies are still keen on playing it safe and following the Status Quo of the latest fad.
Our creative employees are often those which plant seeds of innovation into the company, but how can we keep our creative employees motivated?
1. Assign them to the right roles.
Just because you have a creative employee who is a strong writer and can create an interesting and innovative blog post from nothing, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to handle your in-house design. In the same way that a biologist isn’t the same as a physicist, creative workers have different skills. Think about it like an elastic band; matching them to the right role will stretch their abilities without snapping the band – you need to give them stimulating but reachable goals.
2. Understand that ‘Creative Freedom’ isn’t just a Buzzphrase.
If you have given them an amount of Creative Freedom, then allow them this. Don’t give them the opportunity to shine and then confine their ideas to fit with your vision of what a project, campaign, advert, brochure, etc should look like. By giving them a chance to think outside of the box a brilliant idea may come from them, one which may even better or improve the reputation or success of your company.
3. Allow them the resources.
Yes, their idea may be a gamble, something which you have never tried before, but what if someone had restricted the mobile mogul, Steve Jobs, or the vintage advocate, Sophia Amoruso. It is important to set aside resources for creative work. This isn’t limited to just finances, but also the time to allow them to work on it – good things take time after all.
4. Be supportive.
As well as giving your creative employees the resources and time to work on a project, also give them your time. Be open to what they have to say and consider their ideas, maybe give them a trial if you’re unsure. When something does do well, reward their innovation and show that you value their input to the company by giving them other creative tasks.
5. Promote cognitive diversity.
Encourage your employees to mix their skills. For example, if you’ve got a very efficient and proactive IT employee who specialises in coding then why not offer their help to a creative employee who has had the idea to make an interactive landing page on your website? In doing so, both employees will feel valued and appreciate the value of the other – creating a positive office Climate.
The need to manage and retain creative talent can be critical to the success of your business in today’s world. We have ever shortening attention spans and need campaigns and ideas which draw customers in and hold their attention. So, next time an employee comes to you with a creative idea, think twice about how you’ll handle it – don’t miss out on your next big opportunity by following the crowd.