Why staff development is ‘integral to innovation’

by L&D06 Jun 2016
All companies thrive on innovation, whether they’re a start-up or an established business, according to David Jones, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half Asia Pacific.

The company has labelled 'staff development' as key to innovation because it promotes innovation skills like personal responsibility, understanding of errors and visionary thinking.

“Business success is governed by a future focus, new ideas, and creativity. Incorporating innovation throughout the organisation will help companies gain a competitive edge,” added Jones.

 “In order to maximise the return on investment in technology, companies need to make sure they have the best human resources to develop and support IT initiatives. Investing in and continuously optimising the technological infrastructure as well as recruiting talented IT staff are both crucial elements in establishing an innovative culture.”

Jones’ comments come in light of a new survey which found nearly one fifth (19%) of Australian CIOs believe their company is highly innovative and give themselves a score of 5 out of 5 when it comes to their level of innovation in the organisation.

However, most of them still believe there is room for improvement, as the average score given by CIO’s was 3.9 out of 5.

“Top tech talent are looking for professional opportunities where they can have a meaningful impact by developing and driving innovation, said Jones.

“This is why companies with a visibly innovative culture have an advantage in attracting and retaining the best IT professionals.

“The better a company communicates its focus on innovation, the more attractive it will be to the top IT professionals.”

Robert Half offers the following tips for encouraging innovation:
  1. Capture ideas: By failing to note creative ideas as they are formed, businesses could miss out on valuable innovative solutions. Developing a well-defined strategy to gather and capture these ideas as well as making the strategy accessible to employees will lead to more innovation in the long term.
  2. Create a culture of innovation: Leaders must foster a culture that supports new ideas. This includes developing clear structures and processes to identify and implement innovation.
  3. Develop the talent in your organisation: Staff development is integral to innovation. It promotes innovation skills like personal responsibility, understanding of errors and visionary thinking.
  4. Remove the barriers: Innovation relies on both financial and technological possibilities. IT must support innovation with modern technologies – like data analytics and cloud technology – and remain attractive to IT professionals at the same time.
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