How to keep the creative workforce engaged

The creative members of the workforce have to be constantly motivated and given challenging projects to work on.

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As an employer, you deal with all kinds of employees— some slow, others energetic, some smart, and yet others dim witted. However, you will also come across a rare few who are always erupting with new ideas. These are the members of the staff who will question the status quo, be eager to try new things, will ask relevant questions, and come up with suggestions, solutions and out-of-the-box ideas. They stand out because of their abilities and extraordinary personalities. They refuse to just sit back and do what is normal and will not fear being the only one with a different opinion. Their eccentricities and quirks may have to be tolerated to a certain extent, to facilitate their best output. These are the creative minds of your workforce.

It is in the interest of employers to recognise such talent and facilitate their creativity. It is not difficult to get the best out of such people. All they require is a little motivation and some or all of the following actions to keep them engaged.

Give them the right tasks to perform: Identify their strengths and assign them the work that is most suited to their abilities. Doing the same work day in and day out makes them bored. They loath performing mechanical tasks. Give them new projects to work on.

Make them part of the right team: Let your creative employees work in a team comprising people with various talents — who can network well, can efficiently implement what has been planned, manage a project as per schedule and visualisation, are committed and sincere, and have an eye for detail. When people with different strengths, abilities, interests and thought processes are thrown together, there emerges the right environment for innovations.

Recognise innovation: Creative people need to be constantly acknowledged and appreciated for their creativity. The best way to appreciate them is to recognise their ideas and facilitate their fructification into something concrete. In fact, if you as an employer decide to reward those who come up with new and creative ideas, you may find even the otherwise dormant brains waking up to surprise themselves and others.

Ignore their deviations from the normal: Creative brains do not think like everybody else. They think differently, and that is precisely why they are creative. Such people are not easy to please. Their behaviour may come across as eccentric and different from what is normal and accepted. Tolerating their quirks to some extent gives them the space for creativity.

Innovation cannot happen amidst the usual, can it? However, they should not be allowed to think that they can get away with anything. After all, any workspace requires some level of discipline and decorum.

Push them beyond their comfort zone: Creative people enjoy challenges, and the best way to keep them engaged is to give them more of them. They should not feel they are too qualified or good for the job they are assigned. So, give them challenging projects to handle, which will push them beyond their comfort level. This also makes it simple to appraise their performance, and prevents them from looking out for more challenging opportunities.

Creative people enjoy pressure: While chasing deadlines may not be a creative person’s cup of tea, some amount of pressure definitely does good. Sometimes, the adrenaline rush while chasing a deadline is not just helpful for the creative person but for the team as a whole. Therefore, state the deadlines, expectations and available resources very clearly at the beginning so that creativity can make its own way accordingly.

With more and more people quitting regular jobs to follow their entrepreneurial calling, the creative talent in organisations is constantly at risk. Therefore, it is time for organisations to not just recognise their creative workers but also do what is required to retain them. Ensure they remain motivated, are constantly challenged and not given the time to sit idle, feel bored and consider quitting!!

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