Employers fail to encourage staff to share ideas

More
than nine out of 10 office workers feel uninspired by their employers,
according to research released by Office Angels.

The
survey, conducted among 500 office employees and employers, reveals how company
culture and attitudes in the UK may inhibit the development of new ideas and
entrepreneurship.

Nearly
half of office workers think ideas from outside the boardroom are not given any
weight and a third believe someone else will take the credit for their idea if
it’s implemented.

The
study shows three out of 10 employees feel inhibited about mentioning new ideas
because they are scared of sounding stupid or generally feel intimidated by
senior staff.

The
results also show that while potentially fortune-changing ideas lie dormant,
staff retention levels could also be at risk with huge longer-term costs to
business. 

Over
two-thirds of staff believe that a "closed door" approach to sharing
ideas can lower office morale, making staff less committed to their
employer. 

More
than half of those surveyed admit they would not think twice about taking their
"entrepreneurial spirit" to a company that would allow them to get
more involved in the direction of the business.

In
contrast, more than 90 per cent of employers say they are open to business
improvement suggestions and would think favourably of employees who speak up
and offer ideas. 

However,
two-thirds of employers admit they could make it easier for employees to
approach them with ideas and implement methods to encourage and reward those
who do so.

Paul
Jacobs, director of corporate development at Office Angels, said,
"Businesses potentially hold the answer to their own growth and success
within their own ranks. Employers should consider ways of creating a forum for
bright ideas to be aired, by adopting an ‘open door’ culture and encouraging
the flow of information and initiatives from the bottom and up through the
ranks.  Enabling all staff to share
their ideas helps to make them feel part of the bigger picture, ultimately
making them more motivated and loyal to the business."

By Ben Willmott

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