Gen Y workers want more innovation

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 10:44 23/01/2013

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Many Generation Y workers do not yet feel they work in environments where new ideas can thrive, a new survey shows.

A survey of 5000 young people by global business consultancy Deloitte showed that nearly 80 per cent of workers in the Gen Y category believe innovation is essential to business growth.

But only 26 per cent believed their bosses were doing enough to encourage practices that fostered innovation.

Just over a third believed staff needed more free time dedicated to learning and creativity in order to innovate. However, only 17 per cent said this was the case in their current organisation.

Deloitte New Zealand spokesman Grant Frear said the survey showed just how much importance Gen Y workers - those born between the late 1970s and the year 2000 - placed on innovation.

"A generational shift is taking place in business as baby boomers, many of whom may have been wedded to the 'old way' of doing business, begin to step down from their leadership roles to retire," he said.

Fostering more creative workplaces was a real opportunity for organisations to step up.

"And there's a tremendous upside if we get this right: we can better retain talent, remain more competitive into the future, and more positively impact society," he said.

So far, however, most Gen Y respondents felt their employers had a long way to go.

Two thirds said innovation was a key reason for selecting their employer, and nearly half believed encouragement or rewards for creativity were a requirement for innovation to occur.

However, only a fifth of those surveyed said their workplaces operated this way.

Gen Y-ers are forecast to make up 75 per cent of the world's workforce by 2025.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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