February 28, 2023
The Importance of Creativity in the Workplace
An often-overlooked aspect of job searching, barrier removal, and working is the element of creativity. Creativity may not jump out as a crucial skill needed for employment, but it is necessary and relevant in any working environment. Creativity in the workplace helps you adapt, change your plans, and come up with new and novel ideas - all great things an employer is looking for. Fostering a creative mind can take work, but its benefits to a person with disabilities can be immeasurable as it opens up more opportunities for growth, employment, and even bettering your current workplace.
How creativity helps people with disabilities overcome barriers:
In the workplace people can be faced with many challenges, and for some these challenges may be harder to deal with than others. Being creative allows a person with disabilities to work through these challenges without feeling overwhelmed. But how?
A creative mind is one that can generate ideas that help work through some of the challenges a person can experience in the workplace. If a person with disabilities is facing an accessibility barrier, being able to think creatively means they can think up plans for how to mitigate these barriers. Sometimes a solution someone thought would work, can't under their unique circumstances, and that's where creative thinking comes into play.
Take having a service dog. Service dogs provide many people with disabilities a myriad of benefits, but by law in Canada they are not allowed to be inside a place food is prepared, such as a kitchen or grocery store. If a person with disabilities is not able to generate and come up with novel, creative idea to work around this barrier, a kitchen may be a place they can never work. However, thinking creatively, another solution may be found. A service dog might not be allowed in a kitchen, but another solution like taking extra breaks could work for some people. Without creativity, a person can become stuck on one idea and feel discouraged, unable to think of other possible solutions.
By using creativity, something that used to be a barrier could be solved by thinking outside the box.
How creativity makes for a better workplace:
The perspective of a person with disabilities brings a new lens to the workplace. This specific lens is not one everyone is capable of having, and therefore it can be used as an advantage when being creative. A person with disabilities may notice problems other workers entirely overlook. How?
Perhaps a place of work only offers training videos with no captions. A person who is deaf would then be unable to make use of those videos – they are not accessible. This is a problem that needs a solution. A creative person can look at this problem and start to brainstorm ideas to solve the issue and make the workplace more inclusive.
They can bring it up to the company that the videos are not accessible and can also come forward with possible solutions. If the videos do not support captions, a text document to supplement could work. Or, perhaps an ASL interpreter is needed. Thinking creatively like this makes a workplace more inclusive for both future, and current employees.
Creativity also benefits and betters the workplace by providing fresh ideas, outlooks on work culture and how to improve it - and perhaps one of these creative ideas turns into the next big “hit” item that goes for sale. Creativity offers endless possibilities to improve the workplace.
Creativity creates confidence:
When a person is creative, challenges seem less daunting, tasks seem less scary, and change isn’t something to be feared. In a way, having a creative mind will help boost the confidence of a person with disabilities as they navigate the job searching process and transition into work. A creative person can look at a challenge, and see opportunities to use their creative skills to their advantage. In turn, this shows an employer you are a go-getter who doesn’t let setbacks get you down. The more creativity comes into play and is utilized, the more confidence someone will have when the next problem needs a solution.
Take a look at the following video resource which describes how to mind-map, a form of creativity thinking: How to Mind Map
For more information and support with your job search, contact us
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