How to Encourage New Ideas from Your Team

Marketers have the exciting — and often challenging — task of generating a steady stream of creative campaign ideas for their companies or clients. One person alone can’t come up with all the concepts and collateral needed for these campaigns, so marketing leaders rely on the diverse viewpoints and imaginations of their teams.

However, it’s not always easy to get everyone to share their brilliant ideas. Your introverted staff members may be less inclined to speak up during meetings, and sometimes people are stuck in creative ruts and need a little motivation. Here’s what 15 Forbes Communications Council members recommend doing to encourage everyone on your team to bring their campaign ideas to the table.

These communications executives share tips for getting input and ideas from your team.

All photos courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Make it personal.

Whether a personal interest is really niche or shared by many, start there. You’ll be amazed by the parallels you find with your professional work, and people enjoy discovering different ways of thinking about their work. From basketball to music to science, when the team starts with what they personally care about, they create whole new avenues for interesting content. – John Steinert 2. Schedule regular team brainstorms.

Build ongoing brainstorm sessions into the weekly or monthly meeting rhythm. This creates a culture of open engagement and ensures your team that their ideas are valued. For all ideas selected, follow up with incentives. Even a small gift card, a lunch out with you or access to company products and services goes a long way to show appreciation and fuel future innovation. – Janine Robertson Insect Shield Repellent Technology 3. Build the right environment.

As a leader, your role is to knock down walls and develop an environment that evokes creative thinking from your team. The team needs to feel that their voice is appreciated and that they have room to do cool things. Let them test their ideas, see what works and what could be improved, and make sure they know that they have to opportunity to do so. – Noah Mithrush Evisions 4. Create innovation zones.

When office spaces are inviting and open, there are unlimited opportunities for team members to provide new and creative input. Our office includes a separate innovation area designed specifically for team collaboration. This space is bright and open, and our marketing teams regularly leverage that space for brainstorming and planning new marketing campaigns. – Jennifer Best ConnectYourCare 5. Be transparent with overall business goals.

The more teams know about changing goals and new opportunities for the business, the more involved they will feel in its success. Creative marketing ideas stem naturally from the desire to participate in the company’s growth and awareness of the right direction. The resulting successful marketing campaigns compound the benefits on a morale level and reinforce employee loyalty. – Courtney Dale ICM Consulting and Media Corporation 6. Ask the team what they want to learn.

One of the best ways to engage your team is by asking what they’d like to learn. For example, if someone says “video content,” develop a project that encourages them to dive deep into what you are already doing, research competitors in the space and present strategy ideas. This project will help them to structure feedback and learn more from the experience than just sharing a few early ideas. – Mandy Menaker Shapr 7. Create a rotating culture.

Repurposing the same teams for similar tasks may seem like the easiest approach to resource allocation, but switching things up can stimulate new brainstorming ideas. To help foster more creativity, consider rotating teams, desk arrangements and assignments. This allows your team to step out of their comfort zones and interact with different team members on a deeper level, which can spark new ideas. – Seamas Egan j2 Global 8. Build a shared, centralized idea bank.

Within our intranet, I created an indexable database for our team to add campaign retrospectives and ideas that can be accessed throughout the company. It makes it easy to type in a keyword tag when creating a new campaign to find relevant ideas from our idea bank. Ongoing brainstorming sessions are also a must to get the creative juices flowing and sharing knowledge and ideas across the board. – Hannah Taylor Ironistic 9. Give them feedback.

Give them feedback on their work. Show them how their work has produced real results and why. Give them access to all the tools in your company that measure the results of your marketing campaigns to help them analyze the results. For example, if you involve a person in researching topics on a blog, show them what makes blog posts popular. – Pawel Kijko TimeCamp Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.

POST WRITTEN BY Forbes Communications Council Communications, PR, public affairs & media relations executives from Forbes Communications Council share firsthand insights.