Survey: Employees struggling to succeed in innovation

Just one in 10 hiring managers in the US claimed their employees thrive in innovation.

While organisations globally are encouraged to stay ahead of the pack by innovating themselves to stay relevant, a new survey has deduced that engaging in innovative thinking is a serious issue for employees in the workplace.

According to a survey done by the University of Phoenix, only one in 10 hiring managers cited that their staff shine in innovation.

In fact, one-third of hiring managers claimed their workers lacked crucial qualities such as creativity and being forward-thinking.

The significance of innovation cannot be discounted, with 49% of hiring managers highlighting that innovation is an important skillset for a job candidate.

However, over a quarter of them would be very likely to recruit a candidate if they had insufficient skills but epitomised an ability to engage in innovation.

Nevertheless, the same survey revealed that companies may have to do further work to encourage their teams to innovate.

Close to 40% of employees polled said they do not have access to the tools required to innovate.

“There is currently a discrepancy between what hiring managers expect and what employees may have access to or be skilled to do,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean, University of Phoenix School of Business.

“While employers are looking for incoming employees with the necessary skills that fit the job description, they also want employees to demonstrate more than the skills on their resume by coming to the table with new, creative ideas.”

Some factors that may contribute to this innovation gap include time and financial means, with over one-third of employees claiming a shortage of time is an obstacle to innovation (36%), while three in 10 attribute it to a lack of funding.

In addition, two in five employees also pointed to a lack of resources as the biggest obstacle to innovation.

The survey also highlighted ways organisations can reduce this innovation gap:

  • 44% of workers said access to the latest technology would help them be more innovative in their roles;
  • 40% of employees would like to have dedicated resources that help propel innovation;
  • 39% of workers desire to have more training

“Employers should keep in mind that professional development can spark creativity, provide a foundational skill set and offer access to critical tools that can help turn employees into innovators,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean, University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology.

The survey was conducted online within the US and featured over 3,000 employees.

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