Staff lack confidence in sharing business ideas with employers

UK employers are missing out on new ideas from their staff because they
don’t feel comfortable or confident in sharing them with managers.

A new poll timed to coincide with National Ideas Week, reveals that more
than a quarter of the workforce have ideas for their businesses that they have
not shared with their employers.

The research, commissioned by 3M, finds that untapped employee ideas cover a
multitude of subjects, ranging from ways to improve staff morale and
productivity to new product ideas.

One in five respondents claim they don’t share ideas because they think they
won’t be listened to, while one in 10 said they are intimidated by managers.

Jeff Skinner, training and development manager at 3M, said it was important
for managers to genuinely listen to staff and take their ideas on board.

"The simple message is that most employees don’t believe their ideas
are valued. One of the main criticisms is that managers don’t really listen to
their staff," he said.

"Employers must do more to make staff feel valued, and that means
managers asking people’s opinions, rather than going through the motions.
Giving basic leadership training can also help to harness staff ideas."

The figures demonstrate the value of employee suggestion schemes, with 84
per cent of the 1,000 respondents claiming they would be more likely to stay
with an employer that listened to ideas.

More than half of the respondents claim schemes that encourage managers to
listen to their ideas are just as important as a good benefits package.

Ray Meads, innovation specialist at 3M, said: "3M has always valued
creativity and innovation in employees. From our experience of running formal
ideas schemes, staff are motivated by playing an additional valuable role
within the organisation."

By Ross Wigham

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