Meredith Pond

HR Generalist

November 25th, 2019

Creative and innovative work environments do not just happen overnight. While there is no standard or one-size-fits all approach for every company, the key ingredients are arguably the same.

Remain adaptable to ideas and change

Businesses are constantly changing. Therefore, our clients’ needs are constantly changing with them. Adaptability is how easily we can adjust to change. To be adaptable requires creativity – creative solutions to solve their ever-changing needs and overcome new challenges.

Stay curious and explore

At Kaleidoscope, we believe learning never stops and that promoting and nurturing growth is vitally important for creative environments. We believe true mastery means knowing you’re never done improving your craft; therefore, we encourage curiosity, discipline and patience both inside and outside of Kaleidoscope’s walls.

As an organization, it is necessary to provide the opportunities and tools for employees to grow professionally. We encourage our employees to both learn and teach – whether that’s learning from a mentor or taking on new projects that introduce them to new techniques or skills. Teams at Kaleidoscope frequently attend conferences and report back not just to their teams, but rather, to the entire staff during “Lunch & Learns.” That’s why we have an actual library of resources about business, design, brand strategy and more.

Empower individual achievement and team

According to research published by Robert Half, the greatest driver of happiness for creative professionals is doing worthwhile work. The second most important factor is feeling appreciated. For someone to feel appreciated while conducting worthwhile work, it is important to value that person and link their contributions to the team’s overarching goals. In a way, one of the most important components is arguably also the easiest to do as a manager, mentor, or peer: Celebrate people, their work, and applaud their successes regularly – in and outside of the studio.

Make way for collaboration

You must have an open-door policy, or in Kaleidoscope’s case, a no-door policy (quite literally). Communication and collaboration are the keys to the creative process. Organize the office to encourage teams to work together and have fun! Encourage consistent, two-way feedback to foster a culture that celebrates openness and ongoing communication.

Allow for risk taking

Set the tone that it is okay to take risks! In the same survey from Robert Half, 53% of managers indicated that their teams play it too safe. By definition, being creative relates to the imagination and solving a problem in a new way. By empowering employees to take risks and think outside the box, we cultivate an environment that allows them to create work that not only wows clients but also feels worthwhile to their creative and professional growth as well. There is something to that ol’ adage “high risk, high reward.”

Have fun

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

It is very easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to work and meeting deadlines. The employees at Kaleidoscope consistently strive for perfection and to exceed our clients’ expectations. That is why we establish fun as a priority, too. Burnout does NOT foster a creative environment. It is important to give employees breaks from the madness: Give them a chance to take a breather and get to know their colleagues outside of work. Creating opportunities for fun does not require an extensive amount of time or money either. Small breaks or activities work great—and a themed party does not hurt either.

There may not be a standard recipe for this sort of thing, but throw these six ingredients in a blender and you will have yourself an innovative and thriving creative environment.