More articles by Marybeth Sheppard
5 Surefire Strategies to Fuel Creativity on the Job
Concerned your employees are more interested in what happened in last night’s episode of “Girls” than coming up with the next great campaign? Wish you had guaranteed methods to keep their creativity going through long workdays? Here are five failsafe strategies to fuel creativity in your agency.
- Create a fun and inviting workspace. Consider Nerf basketball, brightly colored informal meeting rooms, or a slide to get to the cafeteria. Give employees the chance to play and they may just come up with the next great idea.
- Offer new and exciting challenges. Employees who are mentally stimulated and encouraged to grow professionally are less likely to look elsewhere for work. Growth opportunities empower employees to think beyond their current role and deliver creative solutions to problems.
- Acknowledge employee achievements. Simply recognizing the hard work that went into a big project can go miles in retaining happy employees. And a happy employee is often a more creative employee.
- Satisfy their hunger (literally). An empty belly usually equals an empty mind. Ever try to brainstorm a brilliant ad campaign with gnawing hunger pangs in your stomach? It’s nearly impossible. As Virginia Woolf wrote, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- Minimize paperwork. Most creative folks get bogged down by paperwork and filing reports, things that could dampen the creative fire. Keep those fires burning by streamlining any administrative duties to give your employees freedom from the tedium.
More on the Food Brain Connection
It is not rocket science — food feeds the brain, fuels concentration and sharpens the mind. The difference between a sluggish employee and a focused one may just be what he or she had for breakfast. Eating a well-balanced meal every 5-6 hours helps keep blood sugar levels stable and increases the brain chemicals serotonin and beta-endorphin. This improves the ability to think things through, stay solution-oriented, and be creative. If employees are well fed when burning the midnight oil to meet a deadline, they are more likely to work efficiently and deliver genius ideas.
Food also brings employees together to socialize and bond with each other. A key component of building a strong creative team is allowing them time to build personal connections and foster community. What better way to do that than encourage them to eat together. Additionally, when your creative team and their clients share a meal, it can improve their working relationship, minimize misunderstandings, and improve overall project outcomes.
Many agencies have policies in place that give employees the green light to order meals when working late or for client meetings. What can be a major headache for both employees and accounting are managing expense reports (and receipts that mysteriously seem to disappear) and ensuring meals are billed to the appropriate client. Anything you can do to automate this process will ensure your employees stay on-task without getting diverted by paperwork.
One area automation can help with is food ordering. By consolidating and automating the food ordering process with an online ordering and billing system, companies can benefit from a single ordering portal that consolidates all charges for the entire company into one invoice.
Imagine being a new employee, and on your very first day you’re given an account to order your own food when you have to stay late or when clients come to the office. No personal credit cards, no expense reports to fill out. Most new employees in this situation would immediately “feel the love” for their new employer, and be motivated to perform their very best for a company so willing to keep them happily fed.
This is exactly what CDM Group, a consortium of nine agencies that offers marketing and communication services, gives its new employees with Seamless. What the newbie may not realize, however, is that this successful agency with more than 1,000 employees and a robust client roster also gets:
- Improved tracking of billable costs.
- Increased efficiency in accounts payable.
- Greater control over spending.
- Happier and more productive employees.
CDM’s Vice President, Director of Facilities Susan Slagg shared, “It just makes life so much easier for everyone. Seamless streamlines the entire process.”
When asked about her favorite Seamless benefit, Slagg is quick to answer. “The #1 benefit of Seamless is the increased satisfaction and happiness of our employees. Everyone is fed and everyone loves that they can eat whatever delicious dinner they are craving.”
So, keep fueling your employees’ creativity by streamlining their tasks and satisfying their bellies. You won’t regret it.
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