Three quarters (74%) of employees say their company does not have a strategy, process and tools in place to encourage the sharing of ideas. As a result, one third of suggestions which could improve business ROI never even make it to the boardroom.
According to the latest in a series of reports, The Guide to Becoming an Everyday Innovator, by Wazoku, the UK’s leading collaborative idea management software company, innovation is being stifled by a serious loss of ideas across business workforces. Less than half (42%) of employees are contributing new ideas proactively and regularly, and just one third (32%) of employees see the board as the driving force for innovation.
In order to successfully capitalise on employee knowledge company-wide, innovation must be baked into the everyday working practices of all employees and defined as part of business-wide objectives. Despite this, only 50% of employers believe innovation is actually embedded within the leadership team. In fact, more than half (53%) of managers are unaware of what innovation truly means to their business and how it fits in, and 78% of workers more widely believe the term ‘innovation’ means different things to different people.
This is a grave issue considering that 87% of employees see this ambiguity around innovation as impacting their business’s ability to improve the customer experience; 80% see it as impacting making cost savings, and 77% see it as affecting increasing competitive advantage.
Victor Fromm, Head of Business Improvement at Abellio Greater Anglia said: ‘By introducing our new online idea management platform, The Spark, powered by Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight, we were able to build a repeatable and sustainable innovation programme to tackle our strategic challenges. Employees across the business are now submitting ideas to reach our vision of improving customer experience through tackling issues such as rail replacement disruptions.
“Just 12 months in, 40% of invited employees have engaged with the idea management platform and with two concepts already being piloted by senior leadership, we’re confident we’ll soon be able to report significant business improvements.”
Simon Hill, CEO of Wazoku said: “Over the last 4 years we’ve spoken to numerous successful organisations, from Abellio Greater Anglia to Microsoft, the BBC and Waitrose, whose ambitions to successfully harness and capitalise on innovation in their business have pushed us to launch this series of reports. Following our the first paper in our Everyday Innovation series the New Innovation Conversation, our latest strategy paper offers businesses the tools they need to assess their current innovation readiness and create their own innovation vision statement and strategy, aligned to the outcomes they wish to achieve.”
If you’re looking to drive tangible results, fuel growth and create genuine competitive advantage in a sustainable way for your company, it may be time to get serious about how you’re innovating. Sign up to access our Innovation Maturity Scale today to see how you could become an Everyday Innovator.