Make sure your employees know that good ideas don’t only come from a senior member of staff. When a junior team member gives an idea, be sure to take action on it in some way and let the member know about it. This will make them feel empowered and inspired to keep up their thinking and confident to speak up about potential future ideas.
Usually, brainstorming is restricted to specific projects and tasks—break out of this habit and get into the mindset that brainstorming should not be restricted. It would be beneficial to you and your team to consider breaking the daily routine and stimulate thinking by having a team lunch or coffee break. Encourage all members to speak and express an idea.
This is the first step to encouraging creativity. Your team needs to feel that their creative ideas won’t just be shot down or unheard, they need to feel like their ideas will be encouraged and rewarded. Make sure your team feels safe and able enough to take risks in their suggestions and thinking. Risks are a necessary part of creative thinking and encouraging your team to think outside the box is huge.
As the leader of a team, you are the model for the entire team. If you never think creatively with your own work then your team won’t have the motivation to. Encouraging your team to think outside the box and giving them an example to look to will boost your company’s creativity and innovation as a whole.
Ask your employees to pitch their own ideas — you never know if your team is holding back or not! Create incentives to get people thinking and motivated. Creating an internal process of submission is not a bad idea either.
It’s easy to come up with an idea, but not everyone has the idea of where to start to get it going. Provide guidance, encouragement, support and advice to other teammates who pitch ideas. Show them how to see it through and give your favorite ways, websites, books, etc. to generate more ideas from them!