Supporting creativity in corporate environments

Luke Smith investigates the importance of creativity and how it can improve business outcomes

No matter your industry, you undoubtedly rely on some element of creative content and/or design to connect with your target audience. Even the most highly professional sectors need to have creative individuals on board to build a brand identity and make your products or services more approachable and appealing. 

Because of that, it’s essential to support creative work in the corporate world – including each individual task as well as the employees in your creative departments. 

As a leader, it’s up to you to ensure your creative employees thrive in their work environment and are set up for success. You understand the goals your corporation has in place, but if you’re not giving your creative workers the tools and resources to achieve them, you could be missing out on taking your business to the next level. 

So, what can you do to support creative work in your corporate environment? 

When you support creative work and the people bringing it to light, your business will stand out from the crowd

The importance of creativity in the workplace

Without creativity in the workplace, your marketing endeavours would cease to exist. Your overall environment would suffer, and your entire team would come up with fewer solutions to problems. Your products and services would struggle, and you would have a hard time standing out from your competitors. 

Nowadays, creativity is one of the most important soft skills a person can have on their CV. Strong corporate leaders understand the importance of creative individuals and providing them with the right tools, resources, and environments to let their skills shine. 

A creative environment unblocks unhealthy patterns and can help your business overcome challenges. It enables empathy within your business which can help your employees collaborate more easily while working on ways to effectively connect with your audience. 

Finally, you’ll attract and retain more employees when people know you support creative work. The best corporate spaces feature teams that work together well and foster environments of inclusivity. You need creative individuals to make that environment a reality. When you have a team full of creative individuals, you’ll also be able to set greater expectations and manage workflow with “creative operations”. This is a process designed to bring structure, process, and measurement to creative work. It allows you to investigate the creative processes throughout your company like a supply chain, so you can see who is in charge of certain tasks, and where there might be any gaps in your process. 

How to support creative corporate endeavours

If you want to foster a corporate environment of creative work, start by making sure you have the right resources on hand. All of your employees need to be able to access the tools they require to produce quality creative work. Prioritising accessibility in your workplace will attract greater talent and improve employee retention while ensuring there are very few challenges or obstacles to employee creativity. Things like universal design, closed captioning, and colour checkers should all be implemented to create a more accessible environment. By supporting digital accessibility, your business will boost employee morale, improve brand awareness, increase productivity and create a diverse workplace culture.

When you prioritise accessibility and inclusivity, you can work on providing a more stimulating atmosphere. Think about things like sound, lighting, colour, and temperature. Do they foster creativity? Do you have a space for your team to brainstorm together? If not, it could be time to do some rearranging. 

One of the most important things you can do to support creative corporate efforts is to act on good ideas. Nothing will bolster your creative team more than knowing their ideas are actually being heard, valued, and implemented. It will improve motivation and productivity and encourage more unique ideas that can help your brand stand out. 

Don’t forget your employees

It’s not enough to just have an accessible and creative-friendly environment in the workplace. At the end of the day, your employees are the heart of your business. The last thing you want is for them to experience creative burnout because they’re dealing with too much stress and pressure. Some of the common signs of creative burnout include exhaustion, self-doubt, irritability and long-term procrastination.

You might not notice every struggle your employees are going through but pay attention to their stress levels and their quality of work. If they seem to be going through something, offer your support. Encourage frequent breaks. Create routines within the workplace. Encourage a culture of mindful productivity rather than focussing solely on deadlines and future projects. 

It’s also important to set realistic expectations to take some of the pressure off your employees. Re-evaluate your productivity goals and focus on quality over quantity. When you’re clear with your expectations and you’re transparent with your employees, they’ll have an easier time bringing your vision to life without confusion. Give them the time and space they need to ignite their creative sparks without micromanaging or hovering over their processes.  

Corporate environments are known for being serious and professional, but those that leave no room for creativity tend to struggle. When you support creative work and the people bringing it to light, your business will stand out from the crowd and your brand will be more widely recognised by your audience. 

You know your work environment and your employees, and you likely know the changes that need to be made within your establishment. Use this as a guide to help you get started and consider the extra steps you can take to support creative work within your company. 

Luke Smith is a freelance writer

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