Fostering employees’ creativity and productivity is generally a top priority for managers. Unfortunately, many managers find themselves inadvertently undermining their own best interests and those of their team through policies or behaviors that prevent innovation and hinder output. Ensure you are not crushing your team’s creativity and productivity by avoiding these key mistakes in your management style.
Unnecessary meetings, constant emails about non-urgent matters, or prioritizing short-term immediate needs at the expense of long-term strategic goals – these are all examples of distractions that could be preventing your employees from being creative and productive. Communicate with your employees and get their feedback on their time management and competing priorities to determine where you could cut back or improve.
Setting Up Barriers
Employees’ creativity or motivation may not necessarily be sparked in the exact way you envision it – even if the result is exactly what you are looking for. Managers who get overly involved in their team’s processes can end up stifling their employees. Make it clear what results you expect, and then take a step back and give your employees the flexibility to accomplish it in whatever manner works best for them.
Not Challenging Them
Risk goes hand-in-hand with creativity and productivity. If you don’t allow your team to take chances and tackle challenges on their own, you not only could lose out on some exciting new ideas, but you could end up with a group of bored and disengaged employees. When engagement starts decreasing, employees stop being internally motivated to go above and beyond for the company in terms of creativity and productivity.
Failing to Communicate
Occasionally talking about the importance of creativity and productivity in an off-handed, non-specific manner isn’t enough to send a clear message to your employees that you want them to focus on these areas. Sit down with your team and give them actionable goals to strive for, with clear details. If your employees don’t know what you want, they’ll continue with the status quo.
Taking Them for Granted
Sure, your employees are expected to come up with ideas and perform to a set standard – that’s why they receive a paycheck. However, just because being creative and productive is expected of them doesn’t mean that positive reinforcement isn’t necessary. It takes little time to recognize their contributions and thank them, but the payoff can be tremendous. The more appreciated your employees feel, the more they will enjoy working hard for you and the organization.
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