Do your employees express their ideas to you? Do they ever have ideas about their own jobs, or ways they think the business could be more productive?

If the answer is no, the creativity of your workers may be stifled. Today’s business world is very competitive, so if your company lacks creativity and innovation, it could put you at a disadvantage.

Whatever the industry, creativity is necessary to produce new ideas and rethink processes. Getting your employees to think creatively can mean that you have a whole team of people trying to develop your business. Not always, but often employees will not apply their creative minds to your company unless you encourage them to do so.

The best way to foster creativity is to actually entice your employees to come up with new ideas and then to pay attention to these ideas when employees bring them to you. Send out an email blast asking employees for ideas to improve your company’s products or services. Post a notice on the bulletin board asking for suggestions on how to enhance the company blog or increase its customer-approval ratings. And then, when employees answer these calls, meet with them—even if it’s during a quick phone call—to examine their recommendations. You don’t have to implement all employee ideas, certainly, but to show respect, you should listen to them all.

If you ignore employee suggestions or disregard them without listening to them, you’ll only encourage your employees to do their jobs as rapidly as possible. Rather then thinking about ways to improve the company’s performance, these workers will worry only about carrying out their work and getting paid.

You could also use a good old fashioned reward system to get your team’s wheels turning. This could be a bonus to people whose ideas you implement or it could merely mean giving them some heartfelt praise.

Many people want a job that allows them to be creative. It stimulates their minds and prevents boring redundancy. Many employees also have ideas on how to improve their place of business; they just haven’t voiced them to you. So encourage them to let you know what they think. It doesn’t mean that the way you have been doing things is bad; it just means that they may have ideas that you many not have thought of. Regardless, you and your business will reap the benefits of their creativity and your employees will be happier for it.

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