3. An environment that supports wellness and well-being is critical for creativity

In an effective work environment, it’s well-being and creativity that drive innovation and create happier employees. Nick Marks from the Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being explains, “People who are happier at work are more productive, more engaged, more creative, and have better concentration.” Having the opportunity to do things that will make an impact on their work environment is a powerful motivator for employees. No one wants to feel like they’re just another cog in the wheel. Or worse, be treated like one.

A creative workplace gives all workers a way to voice their ideas, collaborate with others, and help spread new, innovative thinking throughout your business.By making employees feel more valued, they’ll feel better about their job, better about their company, and better about themselves. Three things that are important to an employee’s well-being.

Encouraging creative thinking leads employees to see beyond their job and focus on issues that will have a stronger business impact. While having employees spend time thinking about other things besides the job at hand might seem less productive, when those efforts are aimed at solving big-picture problems, a worker’s productivity becomes more meaningful and the business becomes more competitive.

Talking about creativity at work, Teresa Amabile, a business administration professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of The Progress Principle said, “There’s some evidence that great physical space enhances creativity. The theory is that open spaces that are fun and where people want to be, facilitate idea exchange.”

“However,” she added. “In over 30 years of research, I’ve found that people do their most creative work when they’re motivated by the work itself.”

Regardless of their department or role, workers who participate in the creative process have the chance to take ownership of an idea rather than just do the follow-through grunt work for someone else’s idea. When employees are given this opportunity, they become more passionate and will work that much harder to see that idea come to life.

In May 2014, Adobe commissioned Forrester Consulting to investigate how creativity influences business outcomes. The study surveyed senior managers from corporations across a large cross-section of industries to find out how creativity impacts business results. According to this survey, 58% of companies who said their firms foster creativity had 2013 revenues exceed their 2012 revenues by 10% or more. In contrast, only 20% of less creative companies performed similarly.

Here are a few other interesting findings:

  • Among workers, a positive work environment was viewed as the primary condition for inspiring creativity.
  • 47% of respondents’ companies received awards and recognition for being a “best place to work”
  • 69% of those companies also reported having a strong culture that supports creativity
  • Overall, the more creative companies enjoy greater market share and competitive leadership

In a survey by IBM of more than 1,500 chief executive officers, creativity was ranked as the number one factor for future business success—above management discipline, integrity, and even corporate vision.

In another survey by Forrester, 82% of executives agreed that companies benefited greatly from creativity — including increased revenue and greater market share. Fifty-eight percent also said they set goals around creative outcomes, while 48% have funded ideas that were born in creative brainstorming sessions.

Since its inception, it’s creativity that has given Apple its competitive edge. It’s a brand that not only encouraged others to “Think Different”, but also actually made it happen. Experiments have been done that show that whenever participants were shown the Apple logo, it actually sparked their creativity.

“Creativity is essential in business because it’s a differentiator,” says Tucker Marion, an associate professor in Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business and director of the Master of Science in Innovation program. “If you’re looking at an iPhone versus a Samsung, at the outset, they’re very similar. But once you start digging, there’s more creativity in the iPhone. Creativity lends itself to finding unique solutions to problems,” he says, “and to unique features on products, or unique business models and sources of revenue.”

Fostering creativity requires support from the top. Executives and business leaders need to nurture, fund and promote programs to increase creative thinking among its workforce. This includes early adoption of new technologies.

“People who are happier at work are more productive, more engaged, more creative, and have better concentration.” – Nick Marks

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The Connection Between Well-Being and Creativity White Paper

Expert from Kimball White Paper “The Connection Between Well-Being and Creativity” published on 11/8/2018