What is the barrier between employees and untapped creativity? Could it be the fear of failure?
Anxiety is a serious deterrent for anyone; few things are more powerful than the thought of getting something wrong and facing the inevitable embarrassment and consequences that will swoop down on us after.
Many employers don’t realize how significant a barrier the fear of failure is towards achieving employee engagement.
In 2017, the World Economic Forum presented a study which revealed the brain’s unprecedented growth not through repetition, but through failure. A whopping 30% increase in employee confidence was realized just through employers adjusting the workplace mentality towards mistakes. 1
In other words, failure is the gateway to innovation and there are a few reasons why.
Overcoming Failure At Work Teaches Work Ethic
When we experience failure, we examine the path that led us to our payoff and visualize the changes we want to apply in the future. Introspection engages the subconscious and conscious parts of our brain, deepening our focus and intention. By framing failure as an acceptable outcome, you ensure these meditations are reinforcing positive thinking and optimism. 2
That same 2017 study also pointed out a direct relationship between optimistic thinking and personal confidence; those who had the former, inevitably demonstrated an ability to “think outside the box and overcome workplace challenges.” 3
“Our data supports the idea that confidence impacts workers’ objectives and perceived success… Our results are consistent with a confidence cycle, whereby confidence and success create a positive feedback loop.” 4
Something Innovative This Way Comes
Some of the most recognizable names in the retail market are products born from accidents. We know it doesn’t always work this way, but whoever rode a bike for the first time without falling a few times?
Creativity is not a science: No one can say, “this + this = brilliant idea!”
However, as an employer, you are in control of the environment in which your potential creative minds operate. Your work culture can either support creativity or hinder it and the way to achieve the former is by encouraging new ideas, no matter how ridiculous.
Plan group brainstorming sessions where employees can pitch their ideas or send out an open invitation for feedback on a new project that the company is taking on. You don’t have to run with every idea that comes your way, but you may be inspired by what you hear. Ideas breed more ideas, which in turn – you guessed it – bring on more ideas.
The Time Has Come: Encourage Mistakes
The automatic psychological and physical response to a mistake is not a positive one. If your workplace culture openly encourages mistakes and communicates that mentality to every member of staff, it is possible to change this reaction amongst your employees.
Drive your business forward with a team of risk-takers, whose passion and ingenuity knows no bounds. All you have to do is tell them it’s okay to be less than perfect because, in fact, you want them to be anything but.