So, how do we influence employee creativity? The next time your team is gathered ask them this question, “By show of hands, how many of you feel like we have recognized and incorporated all your ideas to make things better around here?” If your results are sluggish, my guess is you’ll have few saying yes. In contrast, ask a highly collaborative team and you will get a different response. High performing employees want to contribute. Above all, they want influence.
So far in the discussion of cultivating culture in the workplace I’ve discussed:
- Building collaboration with your team
- Alignment to a common vision
- Share in the responsibility for achieving the mission
- Build trust through open and honest communication
- Focus on the task at hand
- Instill a sense of urgency
But, if you want to tap into your employee creativity, change how you view them. The first principle of performance in my coaching practice is, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are-or as we are conditioned to see it.” Principle two states, “language and the voice we give our attention dictates how we see the world. ” The final principle states, “we change our behavior by using transformative language and listening to a different voice.”
Why Is Language Important?
The previous three principles properly applied can make all the difference in affecting employee creativity. Why? First, the way you see your team is how you treat them. Secondly, your language dictates how your team responds to you. And finally, by adjusting your language you can get more from the people you work with.
Employee Creativity Begins With Your Care For Them
If your team knows you care and you are genuinely interested in their opinion they will give you more. Consequently, to get more from your team, allow them to have influence. They have influence when you see them as viable members who can make a difference. It begins with you. Ask more questions. Don’t judge their responses. Brainstorm your next problem with people who aren’t usually in the room. Reach down the organization a level or two. Ask those people who are closest to the customer. They have your answers.