A new study from Futurestep found that employees give firms just 6 months to deliver on promises around innovation – with flexible working arrangements being highly prized – but also found employees will go the extra mile in return for innovative workplace engagement efforts.
Exploring the potential impact of innovative methods in recruiting, engaging and developing staff, the study of more than 4,000 skilled workers from around the world reveals that nearly half are prepared to quit a job they’re happy in if they feel they are being let down on promises around innovation. The workers named Apple, Google, Coca Cola and Facebook as their “innovation idols.”
“The idea of innovation clearly sparks the imagination of today’s professionals,” says Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Futurestep. “Workers define innovation as three things; change, improvement and forward thinking, and they’re looking for employers to demonstrate all three of those from Day One. What is increasingly important, particularly for global companies, is that the way you communicate with future, current and former employees can have a huge impact on how they think of your brand as a whole. It goes beyond employment and can actually affect the way they think about your brand as a consumer too – and they’ll share that view with friends and family too.”
With 44 percent of those surveyed admitting that they are “likely” to look around for another job if innovation fails to materialize, the workers also said they only would wait 6 months for employers to deliver on innovative ways to engage and develop employees. Four in 10 employees surveyed confirmed that “phantom innovation” – management either promising innovation and not delivering or offering something that is not perceived as innovative but is being sold to employees as such – would make them feel negatively about the brand as a whole.
The survey found that:
- Over 75 percent expect employers to be innovative in the way they retain and engage their staff.
- 72 percent expect employers to be innovative in workforce development.
- 36 percent think that their current company is innovative in those areas.
- 79 percent agree that innovative approaches to engagement and development would make them more likely to perform better in their jobs.
- 49 percent say they would be more likely to take a job advertised or offered in an innovative way…
- 51 percent believe that innovative approaches to recruitment would make them feel more positively about that company overall.
The study confirmed that in today’s competitive employee market, innovation could turn the head of the happiest employee. Two-thirds of employees said they would leave a position if they were targeted with a job that offered more innovative benefits, while 55 percent would leave a job they are happy in if approached in a particularly innovative way.
The global report, The Innovation Imperative, which also surveyed more than 800 recruitment and talent management professionals, found that 74 percent of them believe that their organization needs to do more to demonstrate innovation in their recruitment and talent management, while 78 percent believe innovation in recruitment and talent management is key to delivering growth targets across the business.