Employees feel their creative and innovative business ideas are stifled by employers

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According to research from RADA in Business, 81% of workplaces don’t cultivate a culture of experimentation and new ideas, despite the fact that their employees believe that fresh and innovative ideas would benefit their companies.

This level of ignorance has resulted in businesses suffering as a result, with 24% of employees saying that their workplace desperately needs an overhaul of ideas and thinking to overcome current problems.

The study found that just over 1 in 5 employees (21%) stated they didn’t believe anyone wanted to hear their ideas. A further 18% also admitted that regardless of whether they put ideas forward, they were rarely implemented.

As many as 16% of workers said that any new idea would actually be treated with suspicion and criticism, while 15% of people believed their business leaders actively discouraged innovation.

In response to this closedmindedness, RADA in Business has been working with leading UK companies to transfer dramatic techniques, such as play and improvisation, from a theatrical setting to a business environment.

Kevin Chapman, Director of RADA in Business, commented on the findings: “It’s concerning to see how many people feel that creativity and innovation aren’t encouraged in their role – especially when there are simple techniques available to help companies to support and tap into the power of imagination for solving problems or developing new ways of working as a team.”

“In the same way that a theatre director works with their cast of actors to experiment with different ways to tell a story, business leaders can benefit from improvising with their teams, which is a key element to unlocking greater creativity.”

“Rather than promoting individualism and ‘showing off’, improvisation is a surprisingly effective tool to create better team bonds and understanding.”

The research found that government and local government workplaces are the settings where people find it hardest to think creatively (21%). Those working in IT (29%) and financial services (26%) find it hardest to make their voices heard, with companies often dominated by a few ‘loud voices’.

The workers who feel most able to think creatively are those working in teaching and professional trades (builders, plumbers etc.), who are four times less likely to struggle with innovation than those in governmental jobs.

“We encourage businesses to give space to play with new ideas without being overly critical. Adopting an attitude of enthusiastic curiosity towards every idea that you come up with defies your critical voice and may lead the way to new innovations.’’