The biggest barrier to innovation? It may be your managers
- According to a new global survey from Robert Half, CFOs cited the biggest barriers to innovation as too much bureaucracy (30%) and being bogged down by daily tasks and putting out fires (27%).
- Robert Half’s senior executive director Paul McDonald says organizations get in their own way and create self-imposed barriers that rob them of innovation. The company recommends that organizations set aside time for team brainstorming and streamline project approval processes, among other things.
- In a separate poll of workers, 87% said they consider a company’s reputation for being innovative when conducting a job search.
If jobseekers are looking for innovative organizations, employers may want to prioritize creating the space for workers time to be creative thinkers and problem-solvers. And not only is innovation a talent magnet, it’s also a catalyst for employee development and retention.
HR can encourage innovation by eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic procedures that keep employees held up by red tape. It's important to solicit ideas from workers on improvements in this area, too. Employees — who have likely already implemented changes to improve their own workflows — may keep innovative ideas to themselves if no one asks for their input.
HR can work with managers to rearrange schedules, lighten workloads and make other temporary changes that will encourage new ways of thinking and operating at work. In some organizations, such changes may mean an organization-wide rework of how productivity is measured in order to allow more flexibility.