Employees’ skills under-used despite recession

Employers are failing to make the most of their workers’ skills, which could hinder their business’s chances of surviving the recession, a think tank report has revealed.

A Work Foundation survey of more than 2,000 workers has found that 40% possess more advanced skills than their roles require, while 65% said their work was rule- and policy-bound, leaving little space for creativity and innovation.

Ian Brinkley, associate director of the foundation, said that while employers appeared reluctant to lose the skills, talents and experiences of their workforces, they were failing to make the most of them.

“Many people could be doing more, but are denied the chance to do so,” he said.

He added that to keep job losses to a minimum during the recession organisations must take advantage of the opportunity to give staff more responsibility and move away from rules and procedure-based attitudes.

“Trapping so many workers in roles in which their skills and abilities are poorly matched with their jobs is a waste both of economic potential and human possibility,” he said.

Last week HR directors called on employers to focus on more creative approaches to internal talent management, rather than get bogged down in an external ‘war for talent’.

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