#UK Why Creative Skills Matter in the Workplace


Why Creative Skills Matter in the Workplace

If you’re a creative then it’s likely you’ll already be aware of just how amazing the industry you work in is, but after the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in the UK announced that the industry was worth a staggering £84.1 billion to the UK economy in 2014 (the latest statistic available) it implored everyone else to sit and take note too.

With a rise of £7 billion from the previous year, creative industries generate almost £10 million per hour, with creative jobs growing double when compared to the rest of the economy, a pretty hefty figure by any standards.

Accounting for over 5% of the economy in the UK, whilst the creative industries consist of fashion, design, film, music, IT, advertising and visual art, it’s not just traditional creative workplaces that are embracing these vital skills.

Taking the lead from creatives, many companies are incorporating creative best practices to boost their businesses, and with an increasing number of job vacancies looking for specialist skills in design packages, creativity is proving its worth regardless of the industry.

Digital Creativity

Digital and creativity often go hand in hand and as the world becomes more globalised and digitalised, the requirements of many jobs are changing to follow suit. You know how to use basic adobe packages but if you don’t know how to code then you could find yourself at risk of missing out, so much so that many are calling for digital skills to be core subjects at school.

The nature of both the creative and digital worlds is that they are fast paced and evolve quickly, as do the tech platforms required to do the job in hand. In order to aid the future of design, employees need to have the latest knowledge and be well versed in their industry.

Chris Hardy from XChange Training agrees, “The digital and creative industry is incredibly fast paced and in order to keep up you need to not only be on the ball, but almost one step ahead of the game. We’re often told we should never stop learning and for creatives that statement rings particularly true. Whether your job involves the latest creative training or it’s something you take up in your own time, you’ll certainly see the value both professionally and personally from expanding your knowledge and investing in a training course.”

Whether it’s virtual reality content or dealing with complex code language, human-cyber relationships are relied upon by many. Be it consumers who are buying the end product or experience, or employees who use creative platforms to do their jobs.

Not Just for the ‘Creative’ Industry

If you think about creativity in the traditional sense, many still imagine it’s about creating something physical, or visual to the eye, and whilst this is true, creativity also spans outside the box and into sectors outside of traditional creative job roles.

Creativity is how we think innovatively, create solutions to business problems, generate new ideas and much more, with industries outside the creative sector often benefiting from this skillset. For some creativity comes naturally, but for others it isn’t a case of the classic lightbulb appearing quite so easily.

Many differentiate tradition intelligence from creative intelligence, leading to a separation of the schools of thinking, but in order to think creative you don’t need to have a certain train of thought as such.

Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something,” and when you simplify the process coming up with original solutions and ideas is more attainable than first thought.

How to Inspire Creativity

In order to think creatively and inspire employees to push their imaginations to the limits then it’s essential that the workplace inspires a positive environment where creativity can flourish. From open plan workplaces, to dedicated creative break out zones, the working environment you provide can help to make or break how your employees work.

Agile working conditions and flexible hours are becoming the norm amongst many modern businesses, with the office often used as an incentive. With offices offering employees wellness perks and more collaborative opportunities, the worker experience can contribute to improved employee interaction.

There’s many opinions on how creativity can be inspired in the workplace, so it’ll depend upon what you as business want to achieve and how you want to motivate your employees.

Increasing Staff Value

When you take the time to unleash employee potential, the business rewards can easily be reaped. Creativity can help to boost staff morale and increase the value, monetary or otherwise, they feel they can offer to their respective employer.

All team members should be made to feel that their opinion and input is valid, so cut down on the idea that those at the top are the sole leaders and decision makers. Keep an open mind and allow ideas to generate no matter what the job title.

Encouraging a culture of creative thinking and allowing employees the opportunity to explore work related projects in a manner which suits their cognitive process, or even to provide staff with the opportunity to explore personal projects can all help to endear them to you and your business. Happy and valued staff equal productive staff and you should never underestimate that power.

“If your boss allows you to make decisions based on your own creative thinking and put their trust in you, you’re more likely to try new approaches, test new technologies and push the limits. Through trusting your employees to be creative means they’re more likely to do better work and enjoy what you do” comments Robert Busby, Junior Developer at Digital Impact.

Staff should be encouraged that no idea is too big or too small, and simply telling them otherwise will lead them to close off doors and leave great ideas out of conversation. Creativity should be without limits, and the end goal should always be to develop a new idea or process, or improve upon something that currently exists.

As the statistics show the creative industry is truly booming and perhaps if businesses outside of the creative sector take their lead they too may find their figures rocket.


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