Fewer that one in three employees feel empowered to innovate in the workplace, according to research from professional services firm Accenture.
This is despite the fact that three in four leaders here say they regularly empower employees to be innovative in their working environment.
While so few employees feel empowered to innovate, nine in ten staff in Ireland want to do so in their jobs.
According to the research diversity remains a critical building block to unleashing innovation. However, a culture of equality is an essential factor to help companies get there.
In Ireland, in companies where the factors that drive a culture of equality are most common, an individual’s willingness and ability to innovate is just over six times higher than in companies where the factors are least common, the research found.
Employees in Ireland in these environments see fewer barriers to innovating at work, with 45pc of Irish respondents working in a culture of equality saying “nothing stops me from innovating” and 74pc saying “I am not afraid to fail in pursuit of innovation”.
Organisations can benefit from more innovation in the workplace by providing relevant training to staff, which, according to the research, was related with 10.5pc uplift in an innovation mindset in the workplace.
Alastair Blair, country managing director for Accenture in Ireland, said: “While diversity drives business performance, innovation is a key competitive advantage, so the two must come together.” “The next step is a true culture of equality, where all members of a diverse workforce feel equally empowered to innovate,” Mr Blair added.
As part of the research, Accenture conducted an online survey of more than 18,000 professionals in 27 countries, as well as a phone survey with more than 150 C-level executives in eight countries, including Ireland.