Five ways to make your people more creative

If there’s one trait that every employer wants to bring out in their staff, it’s creativity. This can be broadly construed, but it has to do with a willingness to think in new ways, to solve problems, and to cast off tradition when it’s become unnecessarily burdensome.

Whatever you think the term means, researchers are agreed that creative workplaces are better for employers, because they enhance productivity and innovation, and for employees, because they make for better mental health, reduced absenteeism and greater job satisfaction.

There’s a macroeconomic benefit to creativity, too, as research by Adobe points out. According to its State of Create Study from 2012, 80 per cent of respondents to a survey of the global business community belief creativity is a key driver of economic growth. That’s a staggering figure, especially when you consider that, according to the same research, less than a half of workers believe they are truly creative. 

The result is what Adobe terms the ‘Creativity Gap’, and employers can play an important role in overcoming it. To help you play your part, here are five ways to make your working environment more creative.

1) Encourage team work and collaboration – where appropriate

No man is an island, entire of itself. So said the poet John Donne, and he was definitely onto something. Although some tasks require careful concentration and a degree of solitude, the best way to foster a creative working environment is to get people chatting, encourage them to share ideas and bounce around fresh thoughts. There’s a reason companies like Google set up their workplaces to be as relaxed as possible, with features like juice bars and gourmet dinners for staff. That’s how you get staff to feel chilled and interact in fresh ways – and it’s through this that the great ideas come about. 

2) Give your introverts space to be themselves

For all the benefits of loud, chatty workspaces, every employer will have staff whose best thinking is done alone. These so-called introverts aren’t necessarily shy or self-effacing. They just know that they’re more likely to come up with something brilliant if everyone gives them some space. So that’s exactly what good employers do – create areas where employees can go for quiet time, to mull things over and dream dreams. Think Don Draper lying back on his couch in Mad Men or Patrick Jane doing similar in The Mentalist. It’s a simple fact of life: sometimes, people need space to think. Give it to them, and the results can be spectacular. 

3) Don’t be precious about hierarchies

The most creative workplaces are those where every member of the team knows they can share an idea and have it taken seriously. If you want to encourage your people to think big, you need to make sure they’re free to say what’s on their mind. This doesn’t mean doing away with management structures, although the business guru Jim Collins is happy to suggest gently tugging at their seams. It just means creating a culture in which everyone is valued, and given a chance to come up with the next great idea. 

4) Be flexible about working patterns

Heard the one about the genius whose best ideas come into her head at 4am? Of course you have, because it’s a tried-and-tested cliché that creativity doesn’t stick to a regimented nine to five. So how about showing a bit of leg in your working hours? Let staff come and go, honour the time they put in to thinking about work when they’re not actually present. Give them space to head out for a run in the afternoon, or read a novel, or head to the cinema. Whatever gets their creative juices flowing will be good for them, and good for your business, too.

5) Encourage a bit of time-wasting

The global corporation 3M encourages staff to spend up to 15 per cent of their time at work on projects of their own devising. It’s thanks to this that the world has the Post-It note and reflective number plates. Both of these products were developed during that 15 per cent. And they’ve both made 3M a fortune. Something to think about when you’re guiding staff on how to spend their working hours. 

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2018

Want to get these points across to your employees? See - How to communicate with your employees

You may also like to read – Ten ways for an employer to engage their employees

Jobs currently available

Featured job
Management Accountant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £30,000 - £38,000
Location: Haverhill
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 906965
About the role

The Just Recruitment Group have a superb opportunity for an experienced Management Accountant to join our client on a fulltime, permanent basis working near to Haverhill.

Reporting directly to the CEO of this fast growing successful company. The business is currently growing at 20% per annum and is at a pivotal moment in its development. New premises have been purchased and new sales and accounting systems are due to be installed in the coming 6 months. This role will be part of the senior management team and involved in key decision making for the business going forward.

Responsibilities include:

  • Responsible for the whole of the accounts department and production of the monthly management report and KPIs.
  • Managing the accounts assistant who has primary responsibility for the purchase ledger.
  • Managing UK and overseas payments, controlling deposits and advance payments.
  • Cash management including weekly forecasting of cash and credit control.
  • Running all aspects of payroll.
  • Management of Royal London pension scheme.
  • Responsibility of all company insurances and utility suppliers.
  • Working with the Operations Manager, analysing profit and cost variances to budget.
  • Implementation of new accounting system, which will free up purchase ledger clerk to take some of the more administrative elements of this role.
  • Job and departmental profit analysis.
  • Monthly VAT returns and Bank reconciliations.
  • Ad-hoc tasks necessary for the for Senior Managers and Directors.
  • Management of personnel files.
  • Administration and other duties relevant to the role.

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills:

  • Experience working in a fast moving busy office environment.
  • Ability to work to deadlines, quickly and accurately under pressure.
  • Ability to prioritise.
  • Discretion required due to nature of the role.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Confident in using Microsoft Excel.
  • Flexible and adaptable.
  • ACA/ACCA/CIMA Qualifications are desirable but not essential.

 

Read more
Featured job
Service Engineer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £30,000 to £35,000 Per Annum
Location: National
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 906655
About the role

This position is based nationally and reports to the Field Service Manager.

Responsibilities

  • Attending customer sites across the UK and Ireland as required by the business.
  • Delivering routine preventative maintenance and repair work as scheduled by the service coordinator.
  • Attending product breakdown calls, providing technical assistance to customers and supporting service refurbishment activities.
  • Working efficiently and safely, always within the companies Health & Safety guidelines.
  • Delivering high standards of customer service and maintaining a commercial outlook towards the business.
  • Occasional visits to our parent company in Denmark or attending other manufacturing sites for the purpose of training or support.
  • Active input into the strategic activities of the business when required.

Qualification 

  • Full clean driving licence
  • Knowledge of ventilation systems
  • Knowledge of refrigeration systems
  • Knowledge of control systems
  • Health and Safety, including but not limited to, a strong understanding of making and working within risk assessments and method statements.

Skills

  • Electrical
  • Braising
  • Fault finding

Experience

  • Service and preventative maintenance on HVAC products at a national level

Personal attributes

  • Honest
  • Diligent
  • Flexible
  • Supportive Team player
  • Work effectively and safely alone.

Hours

Monday to Friday 08:30 – 17:00 with a 60-minute unpaid lunch break. However, will be expected to work such additional hours as are necessary for the proper performance of your duties.

Reward Package

  • Competitive Salary (based on experience/qualifications)
  • Bonus scheme (Profit related)
  • 25 days holiday per annum (up to 5 days used for Christmas shutdown) increasing with length of service, up to a maximum of 30 days per year
  • Company sick pay (after 13 weeks service and increases with length of service)
  • Pension Scheme
  • Auto-enrolment 3% employee contribution and 2% employer
  • Group Personal Pension Scheme (once qualified) 3% employee contribution and 3% employer increasing with length of service
  • Life Assurance (2 x basic salary)
  • Private Medical Insurance (once qualified)
  • Childcare Voucher Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme

Other benefits

  • Monthly flexi-Fridays (staff can leave at 2pm, having made the time up that week)
  • Medical appointments paid up to one hour (excluding opticians)
Read more
New job
Truss Designer
Sector: Property and Construction
Salary: £30k-£32k
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 907456
About the role

Just Recruitment is currently recruiting on behalf of an independent Builder and Timber Merchants based on the Suffolk/Essex border.

They supply to retail, sole traders, commercial trade and small contractors right up to national house builders and developers.

They are looking for a Truss Designer to join the team.

The role will involve working with architects and engineers as well as creating layouts for roofs. The candidate will be working with 3D drawings and using systems such as Wolf Enterprise and Rivet.

The successful candidate will:

  • Have experience in a similar role
  • Experience in using Wolf/Rivet systems
  • Be detail conscious, with the ability to ensure work is always completed accurately and on time
  • Able to liaise with customers and provide knowledgeable service both in the office and on-site
  • Have a clean driving licence
  • Be highly customer focussed
  • Be highly organised

Benefits:

  • Competitive salary subject to experience
  • Contributory Stakeholder Pension Scheme
  • 25 days holiday plus bank holidays
  • 40 hours per week, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
Read more
New job
I-Beam Designer
Sector: Property and Construction
Salary: £35,000 - £40,000
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 907449
About the role

The Just Recruitment Group is currently recruiting for an I-Beam Designer to join an independent Builder and Timber Merchants in Colchester. 

Monday to Friday 8.00am to 5.00pm 

25 days holiday rising with continuous service 

The company has its own manufacturing facility producing Truss, Eco-Joists and I-Beams. They also stock and supply a wide range of heavy as well as light side building materials, timber, sheet materials, landscaping products, joinery and doors. 

The in-house designers will produce EU5 approved Truss and I-Beam solutions for almost all types of construction. 

The vacancy is for an existing Designer/Estimator to design and price I-Beams. 

The successful candidate will have relevant construction design and estimating experience and will need: 

  • A Clean Driving License 
  • The ability to ensure work is always completely accurate and within time constraints. 
  • To be highly customer focused – have good communications skills, with both customers and colleagues. 
  • To liaise with customers and provide a knowledgeable service both in the office and on-site visits. 
  • Attend customer and site meetings as required. 
Read more