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How Executives can Keep Employees Creative

Being encouraging and following through on ideas will help motivate employees.

A business can't stay profitable if it isn't constantly growing and putting up a fight when competitors try to edge in on its market. But how does a company achieve that growth? Part of the answer lies in the labor pool, and as Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer write for

A business can't stay profitable if it isn't constantly growing and putting up a fight when competitors try to edge in on its market. But how does a company achieve that growth? Part of the answer lies in the labor pool, and as Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer write for McKinsey Quarterly, it's up to CFOs and other executives to make sure their employees are advancing and improving in their roles.

The authors note that no matter what level a manager is at, it's his or her job to encourage idea sharing from subordinates, staying on course with goals and projects, communicating with staff and allowing them to "own" their responsibilities.

At the highest levels, senior leaders also need to deliver a sense of meaning to the work their employees do and consistently re-enforce that purpose, Amabile and Kramer say.

It's vital that executives are closely monitoring the signals that they're giving off - don't disperse or tolerate mediocrity, or else that is the quality of work you will get. They also advise picking a few strong ideas and following through with those programs until they are finished. Going in too many directions at once will just mean no ideas are fulfilled. When setting goals and strategy, pick plans that are a stretch, but within the realm of possibility.