Here’s Cibnet’s simple recipe for success:
- Recognise that people are multi-creative. You’ve employed a designer, but they might also be in a band, run a successful blog or be a rib-tickling stand-up comedian on the weekends. Ideas are stimulated by other ideas, and if you let people out of their pigeonholes, you might find the feedback you need comes from an unexpected source.
- Publish and display their work. It’s a cost-effective motivational tool, and can even generate its own revenue.
- Pay them well or they’ll go somewhere that does. Talent is a highly sought after commodity
- But understand that money is only part of the motivation. Give them some form of ownership of their work.
- Let them work when it suits them. Inspiration doesn’t come between 9am and 5pm, with an hour for lunch. If your creatives work best in the evenings, do you want to be paying them for their least creative hours?
- Let them have time off. A sabbatical, or just a break from deadlines and frustrations. Reward success with something more worthwhile than a bonus. Google, for example, allow their employees to spend 20% of their working week on their own projects.
- Let them learn. Encourage them to attend workshops to develop their talents and refresh their ideas.
- Let them teach because creative people spend their lives learning things. After a while their experience can be their most valuable asset they have. Invest in it and it will pay off for them and for those who are prepared to learn. Where are you going to get your new young talent from anyway?
- Don’t promote them to management unless they really want it. It’s a fallacy to assume that just because someone is experienced at something they will be good at managing it.
And overall, offer them what they need to be great. Give people the space and working conditions that suit them and they’ll be far more productive than if you try to squeeze them into your system. And if your non-creative staff complain they are not getting equal treatment, tell them they’re right and suggest they go work for a company that doesn’t value creative talent – then offer them the chance of going to a creative workshop you’re sponsoring; you’ll be amazed how much talent is locked up in your people.