We all know that the work environment has changed and that many of our colleagues are going to be working from home far more than they ever did before. So how do we as leaders make sure that our colleagues continue to be as creative as they possibly can be? Here are four ways to do it.
Empower your team
One of the things that we’ll do going forward in a hybrid work environment is to make sure that our teams and the leaders of those teams, have the autonomy, responsibility and accountability to know when they need to be together in the office and when they can work apart from their homes. When we give those team leaders and teams that responsibility, we know they’ll be able to create great outcomes for our clients.
Have the right tools available
Colleagues need to have training on how to use the right tools and techniques in working with their teams. Make sure your team members understand who their “go to” people are within their practice area if they have questions and know who might prefer a quick check-in via Slack instead of a Zoom call. Getting them the right equipment (such as dual monitors and a good pair of headphones) will also help them work at their best, so we make sure to equip colleagues with what they need from Day 1. If we get these things right, it’ll play a big part in helping our teams be their most creative selves.
Find opportunities for fun
How do we get our colleagues together outside of work? We all know that if we’ve collaborated with or gotten together on some creative project with others that the idea of physically being together creates those moments of inspiration, sort of like an improv group who creatively play off of each other. For our colleagues, that might mean participating in each of our centers’ Nerdlympics competitions, or volunteering together for one of our community partners specializing in STEM education. If we’re able to create these opportunities outside the office, we’ll be able to create better solutions for our clients and create great moments of creativity for our colleagues.
Take time for nothingness
Often times, moments of inspiration come not when we’re sitting at our desks focused on the problem, but when we’re outdoors or somewhere else far from the office. In fact, Aaron Sorkin, the creator of “The West Wing,” often gets his eureka moments when he’s in the shower. So much so that he often takes six showers a day! I don’t know that we need to take six showers a day, but I do know that we need to create some downtime and replace the things that we’ve lost during the pandemic. For instance, we used to have the drive time or commute time to think about other things and to come up with some of those creative inspirations. We don’t have that commute any longer so we need to make sure that in our schedules, people are allowing themselves to take some time for nothingness.
When our colleagues can effectively harness their creativity, they’re able to deliver better solutions for our clients. That’s why as leaders we have to be thinking of ways that we can keep fostering this mindset in our teams, no matter where they’re working from. I think that these four tips will help you get started.
About the Author:
As Chief Executive Officer, Monty Hamilton leads the executive team and drives the overall strategy for Rural Sourcing. Monty is responsible for leading the strategic direction and the growth of Rural Sourcing and is leading the team in their goal to launch 10 new high-tech hubs over the next few years. Each facility will have 200 colleagues in low cost of living, high quality of life locations. He is a sought-after speaker on the outsourcing and domestic sourcing topic and has recently been featured on CNBC, BBC, NPR radio and at various industry conferences including IAOP, Gartner, Digital Georgia and others. In addition, recent articles depicting Rural Sourcing’s innovative outsourcing model have appeared in Business Week, CNN Money magazine, CFO magazine, and CIO magazine.
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