Now more than ever, organisations need creative solutions during a time when there is mass disruption due to the Covid pandemic. Businesses need ‘out of the box’ thinking to pivot, innovate and survive during these unsettling times.
So, as a leader, how do you drive employee creativity in the workplace?
Research into recent models tells us that there is a direct link to the supervisors’ expectations and behaviours and the employees’ creative output. This theory is supported by the Pygmalion model which sounds more complicated than it actually is! So, let’s break this down:
Supervisor Expectations of Employee Creativity
Studies show that if a supervisor inheritably believes and therefore holds high expectations of an employee’s creativity it leads to higher performance levels. Can you think of a time when you believed the outcome would be of a high level and that’s what occurred?
Supervisor Creativity – Supportive Behaviour
So therefore, by the supervisor adopting ‘Pygmalion’ leadership it influences self-efficacy development which in turn leads to a clear communication through behaviours of creative support. Asking yourself, “how am I showing up and communicating” is a key comment of success.
Employee View of Creativity Expectations
Once the employee then positively associates the supervisor’s orientation towards creative work, it leads to employee beliefs being a core component of their motivation to innovate. Which of your team are more motivated? Are you treating them differently?
The employee then holds their own creative expectations which results in a strong self-efficacy for creative action. Is there a way you can encourage your team to conceptualise their success?
The final outcome being the actual level of employee creativity which links back to the association of the supervisor expectations. Reflecting, along with your employee on the conversations, behaviours and actions that led to the success or failure of the output would be a useful post project/task tool.
Summing all of this up in a nutshell. How you treat your people is exactly how they will behave. If you go in with low expectations and negativity, that’s what you’ll receive. Flip it around and exhibit positive, encouraging behaviours and the possibilities are endless.