Creative engagement and employee engagement are the chicken and the egg. Or the egg and the chicken. Impossible to know which comes first because they so strongly reinforce each other. And that’s why it’s a good idea to strive for both!
Employees with the opportunity to express their creativity engage more fully in their work. Work places that encourage creativity enjoy engaged work forces. Recognition of creativity that contributes to specific successes stimulates further creativity, and so more employee engagement.
Creative Engagement: Freedom
When employees feel free to approach problems from creative perspectives, they take creative risks. When they allow themselves creative risks, they freely generate creative ideas. Given the freedom to apply their creative ideas, they do so. That freedom stimulates their creative energies. That is creative engagement. That leads beyond involvement in the work at hand. It generates employee engagement to job, to team and to company. Game playing and viewing one’s work as a game (a serious game, to be sure) are proven successful. Creative freedom boosts productivity. Check the interview with Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.
Creative Engagement: Habits
Some companies worry that employees spend too much time social networking. Some companies see any time as too much time. They fear it’s taking away from people performing their assigned work. Savvy companies, on the other hand, creatively direct employees’ engagement with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social networks. They correctly see it as good for the company. Dell Computer allows — even authorizes — employees to “speak for Dell” on social networks. Dell offers full-day training on how to use Twitter and Facebook, without instructing employees to follow any corporate script on line. Social networking generates the opportunity for free thinking, new ideas, creative discovery. Allowing that to become a habit, a creative engagement, is “engagement plus.”
Creative Engagement: Recognized
Typically, the more one succeeds, the more one succeeds. Success breeds success. Creativity is proven to contribute to success. Creative success that is publicly recognized and celebrated breeds more creativity and more success. A victorious — rather than vicious — circle. Applaud successful products, projects, endeavors and comebacks by giving special attention to their creative elements. Label them as creative. Hold them as examples to match in the future. Creative engagement — a specific and valuable form of employee engagement — will blossom.
Creativity motivates itself. That’s creative engagement. Generating a new idea, determining a novel procedure, designing a streamlined approach–all have appeal to the human mind and emotion. In other words, we naturally choose to engage in creative opportunities in our work. Work that offers creative opportunities is work we want to do. The workplace home to such work is where we want to be. That’s employee engagement.
Doesn’t matter which clucks or cracks first.
(About the Author: As an Employee Engagement and Performance Improvement expert, Tim Wright, has worked with businesses and national associations of all sizes. His company, Wright Results, offers proven strategies and techniques to help businesses increase employee engagement, improve personnel performance and build a strong business culture by focusing on performance management from the C.O.R.E. For more information, visit www.wrightresults.com or connect with Tim here: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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