Managing, motivating creative employees

A COMPANY’S most important asset is its creative capital, but sometimes it can be difficult to manage creative employees.

By Blessing Duri

It’s simply the nature of the process; creative people are creative because they are able to think outside the norm.

Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals.

From our research at Bleluk Consulting (Pvt) Ltd professionals whose primary responsibilities include innovating, designing, and problem solving are motivated from within, thus respond much better to intrinsic rewards than to extrinsic ones.

How can you as a manager, increase efficiency, improve quality, and raise productivity in your company, all while accommodating for the complex and chaotic nature of the creative process? Getting motivation right is central to the role of managers as this results in getting the most innovation, productivity, and performance.

Bleluk Consulting (Pvt) Ltd encourages dynamic managers to utilise a framework for managing its employees that stands on three basic principles:

Help employees do their best work by keeping them intellectually engaged and by removing distractions;

Make managers responsible for sparking creativity and eliminate arbitrary distinctions between “suits” and “creative”;
lEngage customers as creative partners so you can deliver superior products.

The first pillar is achieved by stimulating the employees’ minds, and minimising hassles. Bleluk Consulting (Pvt) Ltd asserts that dynamic managers know that being challenged and solving problems motivate creative people far more that money or fear of discipline.

Therefore go to great lengths to create positions that inspire engagement, and consistently challenge your employees to produce the best work.

Time is one of the most important non renewable resources of creativity, and removing hassle to the best of their ability allows the managers to get the best results from their people. It’s simple; the more distractions a company can remove, the more its employees can maximise their creative potential, thus producing great work.

Bleluk Consulting (Pvt) Ltd conducts annual surveys in which asks what the employees need and, if it can reasonably be attained, management provides the benefit.

Even if management denies a request — because it’s simply not financially viable — the workers trust and respect the decision because they have been engaged in an open dialogue. The benefits not only make the employees more productive, it also retains them, saving estimated huge sums yearly in turnover cost.

The flexible hours programme offered allows for creativity to strike when it chooses to, not funnelled and forced into a 9 to 5 workday. Leaders know that creative people can be trusted to manage their own workloads; their inner drive to achieve, not to mention accountability among colleagues, compels a high level of productivity.

Reducing arbitrary distinctions, the second pillar, allows for a culture which believes “we’re all creative”. Realising a manager respects the work you do, because he or she also does it, is important in instilling trust and producing positive outcomes.

An open door policy further builds the relationship between manager and employee, and sparks creativity through open discussion. Also, no one is punished for failing. True leaders know that experimentation is crucial for breakthroughs, and some avenues are bound to lead to a dead end eventually.

The worst thing an employee can do is not try, and those who do not make attempts quickly weed themselves out. Because of the benefits your company offers its employees, you should know there is potential for bad hires to get in, so your hiring practice should be extremely rigorous. Using pre-hire solutions Bleluk Hire from Bleluk Consulting (Pvt) Ltd is a good way to make sure you hire the right person for the right position.

Dynamic organisations know that by properly managing creativity, they have a crucial advantage in the competition for global talent.

By motivating creative workers, stimulating their minds, minimising hassles, eliminating barriers between managers and workers, and nurturing relationships with all employees, creative capital will increase exponentially and productivity will upsurge.

Blessing Duri is the executive donsultant, author & certified life coach at bleluk consulting (Pvt) Ltd, at Suite 312 Pollack House, 30 Robson Manyika, Harare. +263 773 522 350 / +263 715 294 225. Email: blelukconsulting@gmail.com

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