Within any team or organization there are going to be team members who consistently come up with unique and effective methods of getting things done. Whether that’s identifying how to streamline an existing process or coming up with a new method of achieving a goal, some individuals have a tendency towards more creative problem-solving than others.

The most effective leaders are able to recognize these seeds of innovation, nurture them, and turn them into advantages which allow their organization to get a leg-up on the competition.

However, this approach is less commonplace than you may think: many of the organizations I’ve worked with at East Tenth Group struggle to put in place the right process, culture, and leadership necessary to turn ideas into innovations, which de-motivates their most creative employees and causes them to underperform.

This mismanagement is only aggravated by the fact that managing creative team members requires a different approach, as many studies have shown that creative individuals are possess different values, abilities, and personality traits than their peers.

With this in mind, below are some of the suggestions I’ve shared with our clients who have struggled to keep their most creative employees from under-performing:

How to Motivate Your Most Creative Employees

Assign them to the right roles

Regardless of the industry, people perform better when there’s a strong fit between the work they do and their natural tendencies as an individual. This explains why some people thrive in some roles, but not in others.

As a result, if you want to motivate your most creative employees, leaders must take the extra step of assigning tasks which are meaningful and relevant to them.

Studies have shown not only that creative people experience higher levels of motivation when they feel what they’re doing has meaning, but also that they perform worse when they don’t feel a connection to the work they are doing. This is critical for leaders to know and understand, as mismanaging these team members may lead to a decrease in productivity.

Build a Diverse Team

Innovations don’t occur in a vacuum. As a social species, we need to be around other people who can inspire, challenge, and motivate us to discover new and better ways of solving problems.

At East Tenth Group we believe that diversity is one of the most effective ways to build and manage great teams, and surrounding your creative employees with individuals whose skills and personalities complement their creativity is the most effective method of capitalizing on their ideas.

Take time to ensure that your creative team members collaborate regularly with people who are detail-oriented, organized, and grounded in their thinking, otherwise you may find yourself with a room full of good ideas and nobody to implement them.

Are you ready to start motivating your most creative employees? Take action now and download East Tenth Group’s complimentary ebook “Managing Others” today.

Challenge Them

Few things demotivate creative employees like feeling as though they aren’t being challenged at work. In fact, data shows us that 46% of U.S. workers feel that they are overqualified for their jobs, which means one trick to motivating your most creative employees is to regularly push your employees beyond their comfort zone.

To take a proactive approach to employee development, begin by developing a personalized development plan for your creative staff, and invest in building an engaging and supportive workplace which inspires those team members to continually push their boundaries.

Apply Pressure (But Not Too Much)

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an English proverb which means, roughly, that the driving force behind most innovations or ideas is a need, and many leaders take this approach to heart – often to the detriment of their teams and creative staff.

High-pressure environments can harm an employee’s mental health and well-being, which can reduce their productivity. However, motivating your most creative employees and maximizing their output means applying some pressure in the right contexts.

Understanding how to build and manage great teams can be tricky, which is why leaders must take the time to self-assess and understand their own leadership gaps before leaning too heavily on their creative staff.


Motivating Your Most Creative Employees Starts With You

As leaders, we know that it’s our responsibility to ensure that every project stays on-track and meets our goals, but being focused on our end goal often means that we neglect to effectively manage and inspire our teams.

Ensuring that that our teams are thriving and achieving their maximum potential requires us to take the time to develop the skills we need. Our Balanced Leadership™ Programs were carefully designed to help CEOs and other organizational leaders assess their strengths and weaknesses and develop the leadership habits necessary for long-term success.

If you’ve been struggling to motivate your most creative employees, I encourage you to contact my team contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.



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