Getting one’s creative juices to constantly flow can be a challenge, especially for designers who need an unlimited supply of creativity. For designers, motivation has to be more than a paycheque. As creative human beings, a designer’s basic needs include the following:
- time and space to think
- a good relationship with their boss
- time out
- constructive criticism
Among some of the things that will keep them uninspired are:
- telling them how to do their job
- destructive criticism
- over-time and overwork
- monotonous projects
- uncomfortable working station
But rather than focus on what demotivates them, here are some tips on how to motivate your designer:
- Unlimited coffee
Do not underestimate the power of a caffeinated brain. Most creative designers function well as long as they are well hydrated – and when I say hydrated, I don’t mean water. Designers need coffee. So you better start brewing more coffee in your office. Coffee is known to not only keep you awake, but it also helps your brain cells to jumpstart creative ideas.
- Play some music
What goes better with a well-brewed coffee than your favorite song? Creative thinking is enhanced when people listen to music. This is why you can see most creative people with their headsets on. Aside from enhancing creative ideas, music also helps energize the body – something that greatly designers need.
However, you have to be considerate when it comes to the choice of music you play in the office. Not everyone is a fan of country music, rap music, metallic music; so on so forth. The best option is to allow them each their own headsets to listen to their own music through their computers.
- Take away the constraints
Identify what hinders your designer from performing well. It could be the position of the window in your office. It could be that the office setting is too dark or too bright. It could be the color scheme of the room. Once you have identified the factors, start eliminating them and evaluate how it affects the designers’ motivation. Among the best colors for a designers’ office include:
- sky blue
- pastel colors
- Provide constructive criticism
The best way to compliment people is to show them that you believe in them. Nurture a working environment where people are not afraid to share their creative ideas as well as promote an environment where constructive feedback of work is encouraged among employees, especially designers. If a designer fails to meet your expectation with their quality of work, it is advised to have a discussion in private and not in front of other employees.
To ensure that creative feedbacks are delivered:
- Be clear about expectation
- Encourage prompt action
- Praise good works
- Provide Time and Space to Think
Artists are free minds that can’t just work in a cage. Just like in any relationship, they need some time and space to allow their minds to wander. This time and space allow their minds to refresh and come up with more creative designs.
Here are some suggested ways for designers to spend their given time and space:
- nature trips
- out-of-town trips
- summer getaways
- art workshops
- museum hopping
As a boss, you can plan some of these activities. Another alternative is to create a space for designers to have some downtime within the office. For example, a room or garden convenient for relaxation within the vicinity.
A happy workplace is a great place for creative minds. Making your designers laugh creates a more personal and positive relationship with them. This will also reflect your management style. It is better to be the cool boss rather than the horrible boss.
- Dine out with them
Dining out with your design team helps establish a better working relationship. It will also assist in generating better ideas that are more in-sync with one another. However, there is no escaping work talk outside of the office. While mingling and getting to know each other, work will be brought up from time to time, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
- Watch movies together
Aside from dining out, you can treat the team to a blockbuster movie. It could be to celebrate a new client or to celebrate a successful job. Watching movies together might not seem like a big deal, but think about the possible creative conversations the team could have within the office after watching a movie together.
- Have an annual/summer outing
This may not be a frequent event but treating your team to an annual summer outing, camping or any outdoor activity is definitely a positive activity that many employees will look forward to. Outings like these also allow them to refresh and generate new ideas.
- Allow them to take a break
Every employee deserves sufficient vacation time. Ensure your designers take some time off. A good break drives inspiration. Do not allow them to burn out in a constant office setting.
- Let them off early
On those rare beautiful days that everyone has been productive, let your employees off early an hour or two. This shows them that you value their work and by letting them go home and get some extra rest, they will come back more energized and ready to work the next day.
Establish an open communication with your designers and client groups. This will help both parties better understand each other. When they better understand each other, the clients are able to communicate what they want better and the designers will be able to carry out what is asked of them. Good communication establishes good feedback.
- Allow them to criticize you
Create a healthy relationship between yourself and your designer by allowing them to criticize you. Constructive criticism can work both ways. Ask them about how you can approve your quality of work, or how you can be a better boss. They may have good views on your management skills as well as the goals you set for the team.
- Respect their works
Show that you respect your designer’s work. Actions speak louder than words so perhaps you could even try giving credit to your designer by displaying their work on a mutual platform where other employees can appreciate their work too.
- Provide internal motivation
Lastly, provide internal motivation for your designer. This does not include setting up outdoor activities, openly praising your designer or gifting them with more benefits. Internal motivation is a soundless gesture of appreciation of your designer’s work. Among some of the examples are:
- Listening to their views
- Allowing them to have choices
- Providing positive feedback
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