Managers often assume that financial reward is sufficient compensation for the efforts of their workers. While this may be true of service suppliers or manual workers paid by the hour or by performance, it doesn’t work when rewarding creativity. This is because creatives feel they invest a part of themselves in the process of creating, and so the work carries more than just a monetary value. The creator still has some emotional ownership of the work, even after money has changed hands. If this constant self-investment in work is not rewarded in other ways than financial, the inevitable effect is that the creative will become drained and their talent depleted.
Creative ownership can be recognised in many different ways:
- Significant creative work by an employee could be rewarded with a share allocation, giving the creator the chance of further reward through the successful exploitation of their work.
- Profit sharing schemes linked to a specific project’s performance can achieve similar, shorter term, results.
- If a company devoted entirely to creative output benefits significantly from the work of specific personnel, it must extend them some ownership of the company. This builds loyalty, reducing the likelihood of losing valuable talent.
- Credit where credit is due. Moral rights must be asserted on behalf of the creator.
- Outstanding work can garner peer recognition, both within the organisation and externally through awards and competitions – and employers can greatly support this process.
- Companies can hold exhibitions and help with the publication of employee’s work, often by using existing company resources.
Without some form of return beyond simple financial reward, creative inspiration wanes and talent diminishes. A burned out worker is a costly overhead which can be easily avoided by the sensitive appreciation of their personal investment.