Employers failing to spark entrepreneurial spirit News added by Benefits Pro on December 18, 2013

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By Dan Berman

In a result that might surprise employers that have been seeking innovative ideas from workers, an Accenture survey found that employees say their companies don’t do enough to support their entrepreneurial spirit.

Although 52 percent of those surveyed said they had suggested such ideas at work, just 20 percent said they believed their companies offered enough support for them.

The survey of 600 corporate employees, 200 corporate business decision makers and 200 self-employed individuals found that while nearly everyone (89 percent) agreed that innovation was important, employees perceived obstacles that got in their way.

The roadblocks included: current job keeps them too busy (36 percent), lack of support from management (20 percent), and a lack of incentives (13 percent).

Measuring the success of an idea was another obstacle, with 51 percent of employees responding that companies only allowed six months before measuring the success or failure of an idea.

Accenture found that employees said the three main determinants of success were financial gain, making the company more efficient and improving the position of the company in the industry. All of those areas, Accenture said, are difficult to make a quick impact in.

More than a quarter (27 percent) said they didn’t pursue entrepreneurial ideas because their companies didn’t offer support for them to all levels of the work force (53 percent) or that new ideas were only rewarded if they were proven to work (77 percent).

Despite the lack of support felt by employees, 55 percent said companies had improved in that area over the last five years.

Business decision makers overwhelmingly said an entrepreneurial attitude was important in a larger company (69 percent). Employees of such businesses were less likely to answer that way (54 percent).

But the obstacles employees mentioned might be having a chilling effect on companies.

Although 93 percent of the 200 self-employed respondents had worked for a larger company, 52 percent said the most rewarding aspect of running their own businesses was having full control. When they were worked for others, 57 percent said their employers were not very supportive of their ideas.

That suggests, Accenture said, that employers are facing a drain of the kind of talent they need to keep their companies successful.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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