Starting and building a thriving, successful business is not a task that can completed alone. Often celebrated as resilient and innovative individuals, many are guilty of making the assumption that to be an entrepreneur means that you single handledly build your empire; but commonly this is far from the case. Without taking away the resilience and innovation qualities that entrepreneurs undoubtedly possess, many entrepreneurs are above all outstanding leaders that have the ability to create teams that are creative and extremely productive, that support them wholeheartedly in constructing a flourishing and prosperous company.
The Closed Door Policy
Sitting behind the desk with a closed door is one of the biggest mistake that you can make when you have a team that you should be leading. Whether you realise it or not, by closing your door on your team whenever you are in the office creates a barrier and can make you appear unapproachable, even invisible to your employees, building resentment and reducing productivity. Mistrust is the number one element that prevents teams from high performance,
Open communication isn’t a natural behaviour, we are instinctively selective and even restrictive when it comes to sharing information, personal thoughts and ideas but as a leader it is your responsibility to create a culture that embraces open communication – this doesn’t refer to communicating via email whilst sitting 2 desks apart from each other.
Culture and behaviours have to begin with a top down approach; by implementing an open door policy you start to build trust between yourself and the team, this should be expanded with weekly team meetings to discuss and share ideas and concerns, openly and honestly – this works two-fold, it allows you to collect business ideas and your colleagues remain motivated and content because they are being listened too.
‘Help More, Judge Less’
It is a deeply ingrained trait within human nature to look for the person to blame when a problem arises, but pointing the finger of blame on individual employee is an incredibly problematic act.
Accountability is a far more proactive and viable effort when it comes to crisis resolution and problem solving, and as a business leader it is down to you to take responsibility and accountability- regardless of who you could blame, because when it comes down to its very essence – it’s your reputation on the line.
Chances are that if an issue WAS down to an individual employee or team, they already know this so by turning the situation into a learning curve rather than a witch hunt, this way employees are still made to feel confident in their role and feel empowered to continue to make decisions and take calculated risks.
Avoiding Healthy Debate
Part of having an ‘open door policy’ is that occasionally you will find yourself and your decisions being challenged, this should be encouraged – not only do we all need a reality check sometimes, but if your employees want to offer up an idea that they think that would work more productively than one currently being implemented this should be discussed – from every angle. Many great ideas are born from ‘What if….?’
Healthy debate is not something to shy away from and can be an extremely positive tool in team building, enabling team members to have a real impact on their working lives, building trust amongst peers and enabling them to understand each other’s personalities on a deeper level.
“A healthy debate often stems when an individual, or group of people are particularly passionate about their stance”, explains Rebecca Bridges from leading law firm Taylor Rose, “Being able to argue your point with dignity and respect is a great trait to behold, debating allows us to hone our communicative and persuasive skills which are sought after in the world of business.”
Your staff could be the key to your next amazing business venture or product, so allowing them the freedom to be creative and innovative within their role could offer a ROI that you wouldn’t have imagined, whilst opening up new avenues and ventures.
To be competent in creative is all about fresh thinking and adopting original ideas that sustain value; in today’s ever increasing competitive world of business, creativity will set you apart and improve the performance of the business.
Legacy managerial structures and policies are restrictive and outdated; to truly cultivate workplace creativity make it your mission to find out what your employees need; flexible or accommodating working hours, mentoring and workshops and workplace benefits that hold real value can all go a long way in creating a motivated, content and creative team that will drive forward your businesses vision and success.