When working in the creative world, how do we ensure our behaviours are truly inclusive? We need to consider and adapt to a range of perspectives and ways of working to ensure we are able to produce the best creative culture. 

When kick starting a task or project, it’s important to ask ourselves ‘can every single person contribute in a safe and meaningful way?’

Take note of those speaking up more often than others, is there a pattern? Is it the same voices in every meeting? Are we leaving people out of brainstorms whose input would be valuable? Ask yourself, ‘who could bring a new flavour to the table?’ Are you delegating projects to the same staff members instead of identifying where someone new can add value to a new project? Tapping into a variety of different mind-sets is key, especially in a creative agency.

  1. Seek out diverse skill-sets

    Hiring diverse talent or creatives with different skillsets will only add to great ideas. Providing an environment that supports diverse creativity can create healthy frictions. Allowing thoughts to be challenged and putting different insights forward can be advantageous in conversations. The quick and easy route is not always the correct way to proceed. We are all working towards the same goal so it’s important to encourage a respectful and healthy environment where teams can learn from each other and not feel marginalised because of who they are. 

  2. Create a path for clear roadmaps

    What does each individual need to do to flourish at your organisation? How can you drive the best out of each person? Questioning an individual’s pitfalls vs superpowers allows you to build on the positives and rectify the negatives. Push people out of their comfort zones and be the eyes for the creatives. Give them broader opportunities rather than limiting their contributions as workersseek progression. To keep experiences exciting, try interlocking different people onto projects that you would not often do and give everyone a chance at something new.

  3. Foster a sense of emotional intelligence

    Get to know your people individually, not just limited to work, but for their personal gain. Building trust, having open conversations and being an ally gives staff the confidence to speak up in creative thinking sessions. Offering people constructive feedback and asking employees for feedback about you, helps foster different methods to their work. Reward those who are not always the loudest and recognise individual and team efforts. 

  4. Provide clear briefs and fair timescales

    It’s important to understand that your people’s time is precious. If someone is working at 120% capacity, when will they have time to gather their best thoughts? Give them the time they need to work through their creative thinking. It is crucial for creative teams to be able to daydream and produce new ideas. Be transparent about the project, agency, campaignand individual goals. Building goals specifically for the task helps, as the employee will understand what they are working towards. Provide a clear creative brief and allow time for fresh thinking to be produced.

  5. Cultivate a culture of wellbeing

    At some point we will all show low energy levels, so how do we maintain high brain function and positive creative collaboration? Practise 5 minutes of mindfulness at the start of a creative meeting. Introduce a breathing exercise and fuel people with positivity that permits them to feel calm and collected. 

  6. Encourage active teamwork and collaboration among employees

    This is not just limited to collaborating on specific projects, but about ideas away from their projects. How can you collectively make the work better?Rotating teams and letting people interact with those who they are not familiar working with can help build relationships and bring newer ideas. 

  7. Employ classroom tactics

    Scheduling in brainstorming sessions once a month ensures all your team’s ideas are valued and gives each person enough time to produce those ideas. Give your staff accessibility to a whiteboard, brainstorming wall or a similar collaboration tool for virtual brainstorming. 

  1. Utilise creative feedback and encourage self-reflection

    Hold creative focus groups for employee engagement to gain a better understanding. Giving people a platform to speak outside of a creative session enables them to do the same in a creative session.  

    Question people. It is simple. Asking who wants to participate and asking them to self-reflect on why they would be good at a task rather than delegating to those who are always favoured, will eliminate bias. Is anyone hiding a secret talent that you aren’t using?

  2. Do not dismiss

    Shutting down ideas and not giving someone’s idea a look in can be very demotivating, so it’s important that employees feel safe enough to participate. Rather than criticising, be mindful of their input. Thinking about your wording is a small way to make an employee feel empowered, opt for responses such as ‘I like the start of this idea, but let’s talk through where it might go to help us get to X” over “this idea is lame”. The point is to offer positive reinforcement and to reward out-of-the-box thinking.