Collaboration is a magic word in the workforce, especially in the scientific and laboratory world. When your team works together you are able to achieve greater outcomes, to find unique solutions, and to keep workplace moral high with happier employees who feel supported by their colleagues.
As an employer, however, you can’t just expect collaboration to happen on its own. To create a positive atmosphere for productive collaboration you need to have several factors in place.
- Clear goals
- A general desire for success in reaching outcomes
- Creative methods for encouraging creativity
Creativity goes a long way in helping employees to remain motivated and interested in the workplace. There are several ways that you can increase creativity, both in how employees work together as well as in bonding exercises that encourage employees to feel more comfortable with their assigned team.
10 Ideas to Boost Team Creativity
First and foremost, for your team to feel comfortable collaborating they need to feel comfortable in the workplace. Before even thinking about the strategies you can use to be more creative, you need to set the groundwork for success. This means doing the following five things:
- Develop one guiding vision that is clear and agreed upon. Consider having your team help you come up with this vision, if it isn’t something that you already have. When everyone is working towards the same goal it becomes much easier to work together.
- Encourage activities that help build positive relationships by putting time and energy into developing workplace culture. This may mean taking time out of the workday to create positive experiences with group lunches, outings, or restorative activities.
- Do your best to surround your team with talent. Everyone on the team should have different strengths that they bring to the organization. When your team is surrounded by talent, they will feel more inclined to show their own. Hiring talented employees helps to support the employees you already have.
- Create an atmosphere that encourages trust and success. Keep everyone in the office accountable for their responsibilities, from the bottom to the top, and make it clear that your employees can trust you, too.
- Provide employees with enough autonomy and respect to where they feel they can make their own decisions and bring in their own ideas. Team members who feel invested in their role will be more productive members of the team.
Once the groundwork is laid, you can start trying fun strategies to increase creativity in the workplace. As you do so, keep the following five strategies in mind:
- Keep it structured! Creative doesn’t mean messy. Have a plan and make it easy to understand.
- Track participation to ensure that everyone is doing their part and no one is left out.
- Delegate responsible leaders to help facilitate activities to encourage peer mentorship.
- Encourage conversation and comradery.
- Keep it on the clock. A fun workplace is great, but no team member should be expected to be thrilled about collaborative coworker fun on their own dime.
Finally, if you are having trouble getting the collaboration that you want out of your team, then go ahead and talk with your employees and see what they think would help. Communication is the most important factor in developing a creative and collaborative environment.
For help with lab desing, check out our laboratory design and planning guide!