Technology has allowed teams to embrace innovation and push past the limitations of collaborating in a traditional working environment. However, just because technology makes collaboration a more streamlined and easy process, it doesn’t guarantee employees will be excited to produce their best work every day.
That’s why motivating creative teams is a vital step in keeping workflow consistent and making sure employees are proud of their work. If you checked out our first article on ways to motivate your creative team, check out part 2 of the series to explore 7 more ways to keep your creative team motivated and connected.
1. Get the team moving!
Being sedentary at a desk all day definitely takes its toll on creativity and focus. To get your team motivated and producing their best work, you can consider making them wiggle a bit during the day. You can try to change up the scenery a few ways:
- Have team members move to another space within the office during work hours.
- Decide to have a meeting outside once in a while.
- Go for a run or jog to discuss new ideas and get the blood flowing to fuel excitement for projects.
If you have a virtual team, you can try coming up with a friendly physical competition between employees to track their progress on specific activities during the week or month. For instance, you can have your team track how many steps they’ve accumulated that month and reward winners who rack up the most mileage.
2. Put on some tunes
Emotion and meaning are at the core of creative work – these elements drive inspiration to make an impact with any form of work a team pursues. Play some soft tunes during work hours in an otherwise quiet workspace to keep your workers motivated and happy. Fridays are a good day to dedicate some time to playing music in the office.
Get the creative juices flowing even more with an impromptu dance party to celebrate a team’s achievement or just to get everyone up and in a different state of mind.
3. Check in with each other
Depending on a company’s workload and client base, employees may feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks to complete. Developing rapport between employees and encouraging them to communicate with each other will help them to feel valued by one another.
Give employees the chance to talk about what they may be struggling with and what they feel they are doing well. Checking in with each other is a great way for employees to motivate one another to be creative and productive.
As the creative manager, it’s a great idea to ask these same questions in a casual setting. Putting yourself on the same level as your employees will make them feel comfortable to come to you with questions and concerns as well.
4. Give the freedom to fail creatively
Any line of work comes with trials and errors to figure out what techniques and styles work best for a team. Finding the best strategies for creative work can be even tricker since different stakeholders look for different results. It takes some time to work out how to reach that unique balance and messing up in the process is completely normal.
In these situations, you want your team to fail fast and fail up as much as possible so that you can quickly identify and fix pain points and weaknesses. You can implement the following 3 tips in your working environment to motivate your team when things go wrong.
Teach your team not to fear failure
Help team members see failing as a progress point to finding the right strategies of creative production. Teach team members not to fear failure so that they can learn from mistakes quickly.
Make failing fun
Encourage your team to draw or design a better solution to the challenge they just went through or have them draw a funny way of showing themselves what went wrong. Make up an award for the most ambitious or creative failures. After a particularly dismal defeat, try talking about what went wrong over a workplace provided lunch or happy hour.
Find value in failing
Ask team members to share how they failed in their work. This is where progress and value lies when someone fails! Encourage your team to teach others about the mistakes they have made to avoid problems in future projects.
5. Reward exemplary creativity in the workplace
Great work deserves to be recognized individually, and as a whole. Recognizing an individual's achievements, big or small, is also important. Depending on the occasion and who you are celebrating, you can try celebrating your team using these ideas:
- Throw a small party at the office like an in-office potluck of everyone’s favorite dishes.
- Personalize a gift for an employee with a treat such as a candy bar or cute paper clips.
- Set aside some time to discuss strengths and concerns with employee’s work.
- Write a personal or group email with kind and celebratory words.
6. Recenter your purpose as a team
When it gets hectic at the office with all of the team’s responsibilities looming on the horizon, it’s important to remember the team’s goals and why each person does the work they do. Creatively recentering the goals for a specific client or as a whole team will bring a fresh perspective to the projects and revive the spark of passion for creative work. Holding a meeting to discuss the current progress and how it is aligns with the team’s goals may also motivate your team.
7. Have the Right Creative Tools Available
Equipping a creative team with the proper tools will ensure that they are ready and able to do their work effectively. While each employee will need access to any programs central to their work (such as Lightroom for photographers or a package like Adobe Creative Suite for graphic designers), there are also tools that can be used as a team to help facilitate their process. Unlike generic project management tools that don’t fit the creative process, Slope was built from the ground up for creative work.
Motivating a creative team is a daily task
Motivating a team of employees to reach a common goal is not a small nor one-off accomplishment. It’s a daily process of building trust and lines of communication between employees to keep them operating and collaborating at their optimal levels.