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Motivating your employees to think creatively

To motivate employees to think more creatively, you must first establish a positive work relationship. Having a positive work relationship will help to establish a positive work environment which will help promote creativity. There are six key factors to help build a positive work relationship.
1. Trust. When people are in trusting relationships they seek advice and input from one another. Also when people trust each other they openly discuss successes and failures and try to learn from them.

2. Diversity. Having employees that come from different backgrounds, education and experience broaden the range of opinions. Do not just tolerate diversity of opinions, encourage it.
3. Mindfulness. Be open to new ideas and opinions of others. Encourage employees to express their ideas without being ridiculed or punished. Also encourage employees to be open minded to new ideas and opinions.
4. Respect. If you are considerate, honest and tactful you will gain the respect of your employees. When people have respect for each other they value each others opinions. In challenging situations respect can help people stay committed to solving the problem or issue.
5. Communication. When employees are able to effectively communicate with each other this helps to create a positive work relationship. Being able to communicate freely will allow employees to voice their opinions and ideas.
6. Appreciation. Showing your appreciation to employees for a job well done will help to establish a positive work relationship. Employees that feel they are valued will not only work harder but will be more committed to the success of the company.
Having a positive work relationship with employees will help promote creativity but you must also create a safe environment for employees to voice their ideas and opinions. Practice being positive and appreciative to employee's opinions and ideas even if they are not sensible or usable ideas. Showing that you value employee's thoughts and ideas will benefit your company and help employees to grow and improve.
You must employ a process for developing these new ideas. Just motivating employees creativity is useless if you do not have a process for developing new ideas. Not every idea or concept will be implemented but take immediate action and whatever steps it takes to see that ideas that can be used are developed.
Support employee's creativity by engaging in brainstorming meetings. Express your ideas and opinions as well. The more comfortable your employees become the more creative ideas and thinking they will produce.
Recognize and show appreciation for employees participating and voicing their thoughts and ideas. Show appreciation to employees for just making the effort, even if their ideas are not used. Showing appreciation doesn't have to be more than a simple "thank you". Reward an employee for an idea that is developed and implemented.
Employees also are motivated by intellectual challenge. Encourage your employees to take classes to build their knowledge and abilities. Provide your employees opportunities to advance with in the company. By promoting employees within the company, you will show employees that you recognize and reward hard work. Failing to do so will only create resentment and hostile feelings.
You should set an example to employees. If you are professional, honest and appreciative, you will find that your employees will follow your example. Show your own motivation towards the success of the company and they will as well. If you have the drive and determination, and encourage your employees to have the drive along with determination to succeed, it's a win, win situation.
Finally when you are encouraging employees to voice their ideas and creative thinking, remember to never criticize any idea or opinion, no matter how strange and always show your employees that you value them.

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