“Adopt ‘Apple-like’ innovation if you want workers to stick around”


Employers worldwide received a clear message from their staff today in a global study from Futurestep, a Korn/Ferry company (NYSE: KFY) specializing in high impact talent solutions: “think bigger on innovation in HR if you want to keep us onboard”. Exploring the potential impact of innovative methods in recruiting, engaging and developing staff, the study of more than 4,000 skilled workers from around the world reveals that nearly half are prepared to quit a job they’re happy in if they feel they are being let down on promises around innovation.

With 44% of those surveyed admitting that they are “likely” to look around for another role if innovation fails to materialize, equally worrying will be the news that the clock is ticking. Employers have a window of just six months to deliver on innovative ways to engage and develop their people according to the majority. A further four in ten confirmed that ‘phantom innovation’ would make them feel negatively about the brand as a whole.

Citing companies including Apple, Google, Coca Cola and Facebook as their ‘innovation idols’, while workers around the globe want to see innovation from day one, they’re ready and willing to give back:

Big Demands:

  • Over ¾ expect employers to be innovative in the way they retain and engage their staff…
  • …72% expect employers to be innovative in the way they develop people…
  • … but only 36% think that their current company is innovative in those fields

Big Returns:

  • 79% agree that innovative approaches to engagement and development would make them more likely to perform better in their jobs…
  • …49% say they would be more likely to take a job advertised or offered in an innovative way…
  • … and 51% believe that innovative approaches to recruitment would make them feel more positively about that company overall

The study confirmed that in today’s competitive employee market innovation will turn the head of the happiest employee. Two thirds of employees said they would leave a role if they were targeted with a job that offered more innovative benefits, while 55% would leave a role they are happy in if approached in a particularly innovative way.

“The idea of innovation clearly sparks the imagination of today’s professionals,” says Byrne Mulrooney, CEO of Futurestep. “Workers define innovation as three things; change, improvement and forward thinking, and they’re looking for employers to demonstrate all three of those from Day One. What is increasingly important, particularly for global companies is that the way you communicate with future, current and former employees can have a huge impact on how they think of your brand as a whole. It goes beyond employment and can actually affect the way they think about your brand as a consumer too – and they’ll share that view with friends and family too.”

The global report, which also surveyed more than 800 recruitment and talent management professionals, found that 74% of them believe that their organization needs to be doing more to demonstrate innovation in their recruitment and talent management. While 78% believe innovation in recruitment and talent management is key to delivering growth targets across the business.