Now that you have staff reporting to you, whether one person or ten, remember that a good manager allows workers use their creativity whenever possible. Stifle creativity and you may be looking at a stressed and unhappy staff. Encourage creativity and your reward could be happy and healthier employees and in return, a healthier fiscal period for your company.
You may have come to this position with definite ideas about what you will and will not accept as suitable office behavior. Before you have your first big meeting, here are a few things to consider.
- Do not prohibit discussion of certain topics. You certainly only want to discuss office issues and procedures but allow some "wiggle" room.
- Do not shoot down an idea that seems silly. It may have some merit.
- Do not ignore an idea that appears inappropriate or “too big.”
- Do not ignore input that you view as a negative attitude.
- Do not ignore input because assume you that you know more than your staff.
- Do not ignore office unrest and water-cooler rumblings.
- Do not automatically assume that an employee is a whiner, because someone says he is.
Let Creativity Flow
- Do allow open communication.
- Do review your staff’s personal contribution to the office and appreciate it.
- Do be open to new ideas.
- Do take time to celebrate special occasions with your staff. Remember to say happy birthday.
- Do acknowledge an individual’s importance.
- Do acknowledge your employees contributions privately and publicly.
- Do ask for ideas and opinions of your “whole staff.” That includes the ‘girl’ who answers the telephone and the entry-level clerk.
Will all of this kindness make your staff lazy and unproductive? On the contrary, it will make them willing to go that extra mile for you, when it is most needed.
And remember, a good idea can come from anyone, anywhere and at anytime. In the early 1950’s secretary, Bette Nesmith Graham, created what became known as "White Out" and "Liquid Paper". Additionally, Marion Donovan invented the disposable diaper, however, she did not have instant success with her disposable diaper. Eventually someone else capitalized on the same idea and the rest is history.