In today’s knowledge driven economy, creativity and innovation are king. The Gallup Organisation, one of the world's leading authorities on engagement, indicates that higher levels of engagement are strongly related to higher levels of innovation. One study found that 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas compared to only 3% of disengaged employees.
Why is it that engaged team members seem to be more creative than their less engaged counterparts? Based on our review of engagement research, here are some of the reasons we have identified as possible causes of increased creativity and innovation when people are engaged.
1. Engaged People Engage Others People engaged by their work want to share it with others. Group discussions are a powerful source of new ideas and the best products tend to come from collaborative teamwork. One of the best things about engaged people is that they engage others through their own excitement and enthusiasm. People who are engaged are more likely to work in groups where they share knowledge and help others make the most of their resources.
2. Engaged People are Instinctively Innovative Engaged team members tend to take the time to do things that ordinary team members won't. People who are engaged tend to see organisational challenges as their own challenges. Therefore, in solving their own challenges, they will solve the organisation's as well.
3. Engaged People Know Their Stuff Engaged employees take the time to know the business inside out. They know their company, their products, their customers and their competitors. With this increased knowledge and a personal commitment to the cause of their organisation, engaged employees tend to look for the gaps and opportunities and how they can make the most of them.
4. Engaged People are Quicker to Solve Problems When a person is committed and engaged by their work, they tend to focus and concentrate more consistently, allowing them to be more productive than their less engaged counterparts. With greater productivity comes greater exposure to more tasks and more possible solutions to problems. By being exposed to more solutions, more often, they are able to solve customer and organisation problems faster.
5. Engaged People Become Obsessed (in a good way) People who are engaged by their work tend to see it as a personal challenge and find that being successful in their endeavours to be intrinsically rewarding. This means that they give their all to their work and go above and beyond for the cause. When someone is engaged by their work, they see the opportunities to improve and advance their cause. Their challenges and opportunities are always top of mind, so even when they are not at work, they are subconsciously working away solving problems and creating ideas.
When a person pledges their attention and effort to an overarching cause, they will take the time to actively investigate new ways of innovating internal processes that save time and money, as much as they will exploring products that customers will love. When it comes to the researching, developing and marketing a company's products, an engaged employee is willing to give away their most creative ideas and work hard at seeing them realised.