Can Creativity Be Evaluated?

Most companies have performance reviews that evaluate a few key areas, such as punctuality, sales numbers, client satisfaction, etc. But what do you do when creativity is a big part of your business? Can you evaluate employees on creativity, and if so, how should you do it?

You can and should evaluate employees based on their creativity, and there are some easy ways to track and support creative behaviors. Creativity is often the basis of innovation, and in today’s changing work environment, every employee needs to use creative problem solving to streamline processes and improve results. Here are some easy ways to evaluate creativity for a performance evaluation:

  • Keep an ongoing employee log: Keep a file somewhere for each employee, and make notes when employees use creative thinking to solve a problem or optimize a process. Place clear examples in the log so you can refer to them during an employee evaluation.
  • Encourage employees to send examples of creativity: Many employees, particularly women, may shy away from self-congratulation, but it may really help a supervisor or manager see clear accomplishments over time. Have employees send in their own examples of creativity and other team members’ creative accomplishments.
  • Assign value to creative tasks: Many tasks in the workplace are supportive tasks, meaning they don’t directly create revenue. However, they are required for daily business operations or to ensure that revenue-creating tasks are completed. Regardless of what your employees do in the office, assign a value to them. Creative capital may directly support a revenue-driving activity or it may become a source for future inspiration. Both are equally beneficial. The value proposition makes creativity a little easier to evaluate in the current moment.
  • Encourage creative behaviors: Results aren’t the only way managers and supervisors can measure creativity in the workplace. Behaviors that are associated with creativity may also yield beneficial results for the company. Recognize the use of new processes, a commitment to ongoing learning, or employees who are willing to try new things to achieve better results.

How to Discuss Creativity in the Performance Review

When you get to the performance review meeting, you may see an individual as particularly creative, but you can’t have a meaningful discussion about those attributes without clear examples.

In addition to using examples from an employee log, a manager may choose to conduct the creativity assessment in the performance review and ask an employee to outline creative behaviors and results they have accomplished. Much like a job interview, this allows an employee to provide information that the manager may not have access to and may change the overall course of the discussion.

Creativity is an important asset for any company, and large organizations such as Google prove that supporting creative activities is financially beneficial. Reward creativity during daily operations, identify ways your team can become more creative over time, and help employees feel comfortable talking about new, creative solutions.

Find the right way to word your creativity evaluation with an easy-to-use professional performance review template.

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