Innovation is more critical to employers than five years ago, but employees may struggle to keep up

PHOENIX, Jan. 10, 2017 – University of Phoenix today released survey results on workplace innovation with findings from employees and hiring managers. While new technologies have increased competition on a global scale and serve as a catalyst to force companies to innovate to stay ahead, just one in 10 hiring managers say their employees excel at innovation. In addition, one-third of hiring managers say their employees lack key traits like creativity and forward-thinking.

Underscoring the importance of innovation, hiring managers (49 percent) cite innovation as a very important trait in a job candidate. More than a quarter of them would be very likely to hire an employee, even if they were lacking in technical skills, if they demonstrated an ability to innovate. However, according to the same survey, employers may have more to do in terms of empowering their teams to innovate. Nearly 40 percent of employees surveyed said they do not have access to the tools they need to innovate.

“There is currently a discrepancy between what hiring managers expect and what employees may have access to or be skilled to do,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean, University of Phoenix School of Business. “While employers are looking for incoming employees with the necessary skills that fit the job description, they also want employees to demonstrate more than the skills on their resume by coming to the table with new, creative ideas.”

Some factors that may account for this innovation gap include time and funds with more than one-third of employees saying a lack of time is a barrier to innovation (36 percent), while three in 10 cite a lack of funding. Employees (two in five) also cited lack of resources as the biggest barrier to innovation.

The survey also discovered ways employers can fill this innovation gap:

  • 44 percent of employees say access to the latest technology would help them be more innovative in their jobs.
  • 40 percent of employees would like to have dedicated resources that help drive innovation.
  • 39 percent of employees would like to have more training.

“Employers should keep in mind that professional development can spark creativity, provide a foundational skill set and offer access to critical tools that can help turn employees into innovators,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean, University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology. “For example, University of Phoenix’s RedFlintTM experience center in Las Vegas gives employees, companies and students access to resources like workshops, simulations and top technologies that provide unparalleled opportunities and ultimately help turn ideas into realities.”

To learn more about University of Phoenix’s RedFlint experience center, visit: www.redflintvegas.com.

Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix and included 1,008 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who are full-time employed in a company of 10 employees or more, work in HR or senior management and have some influence over hiring decisions. Also surveyed were 2,009 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, who are full-time employed in a business of over 10 or more employees. All were surveyed between Sept. 26 and Oct. 11, 2016. For complete survey methodology, please contact Jennifer Marshall.

About the RedFlint Experience Center

Based in the vibrant innovative tech and business community in downtown Las Vegas, the over 10,000 square foot center located within the Bank of America Plaza building provides a local resource to educate, incubate and accelerate business ideas. The open floor plan boasts a variety of tools and spaces to support a variety of business needs. The RedFlint experience center encompasses advanced technologies and an experiential, hands-on learning environment to address and lend solutions for common issues including stagnation inside established businesses, a lack of resources for entrepreneurs and startup ventures and slow adaption to the technology curve. For more information about the RedFlint experience center, visit: www.redflintvegas.com.

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

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