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1 out of 4 Hongkongers say their company is failing to innovate

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While ‘innovation’ is commonly found in the mission statement of many organisations, employees do not agree that companies is living up to that promise.

A new report by Hudson, Today’s Workforce Demands Tomorrow’s Skills, found that while 88% of Hong Kong based organisations claim they drive and reward innovation, only 17% of employees agree. In fact, nearly a quarter (24%) of employees say their organisations do not encourage innovation at all.

This represents a significant gap in the views of employees and managers on how businesses are managing innovation, points out Siddharth Suhas, regional director, Hudson Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

“This is both a challenge and an opportunity for Hong Kong’s organisations. In a competitive marketplace, organisations that can foster innovative, adaptable teams will be better placed to deliver growth in the future, and will also be considered more engaging places to work.”

The difference in expectations is one of the reasons why employees in Hong Kong choose to move on. Up to 84% of Hong Kong professionals surveyed are currently either actively or passively looking for jobs. This is inline with earlier findings stating that lack of career progression, not salary is the biggest reason driving local professionals to quit.

“Those who take a dim view of their organisation’s capacity to innovate and adapt may look elsewhere for an employer that will provide a more stimulating environment,” Suhas said.

ALSO READ: Video: How employers in Hong Kong today support the disabled

The report collected the views of over 600 employers and employees in Hong Kong, and also found that hiring managers and employees don’t see eye-to-eye on the skills that future workplaces will demand.

While 88% of employees are confident they have the skills to perform well in the future, only 57% of hiring managers agree. Four out of 10 employers doubt their team has the right skills mix for the future.

The top three skill sets employees want to develop are:

  1. Innovative thinking
  2. Negotiation and influencing skills
  3. Digital literacy.

On the other hand, the three skill sets employers want to develop are:

  1. Driving and managing change
  2. Critical thinking
  3. Drive for results.

Suhas commented on this gap between employers and employees: “Fortunately, there is common ground too: the ability to manage change is linked to innovative thinking, and these are areas where employers could achieve a win-win if they approach skills development thoughtfully,” Suhas said.

When it comes to developing skills, employees are highly motivated with almost all (97%) feeling its importance, but only 38% of them feel supported by their managers to improve existing skills.

The report also revealed that although organisations are aware their team may have skills gaps, fewer than half have a defined strategy to develop their people.

Suhas said the city’s talent demand has been steady over the past six months despite a gloomy economy. The majority of employers surveyed are planning to maintain or replace current headcount, with only 11.3% intending to decrease hiring.

ALSO READ: Singaporean talent unhappy with staffing practices in the nation

Image: 123RF

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