Research looking into the state of the UK workforce by beauty giants L’Oréal has revealed we are a nation of ambitious entrepreneurs and companies face losing employees if they are not willing to embrace their workers’ ideas and innovations.
The research reveals that three-quarters of British people were more concerned about having their contributions valued at work than a good salary or benefits package. More than a third of want the opportunity to have their ideas heard by their employers and 27% are currently sitting on ideas that they think would be good for business. Despite this, the majority of companies do not have a platform in place for such contributions to be made.
Tellingly, 73% of workers felt you could only really demonstrate creative and entrepreneurial initiative in smaller companies.
This frustration was further emphasised by the revelation that 89% felt uninspired by their own boss, with the majority looking externally for inspiration from those they considered entrepreneurs. In a stark warning to employers, 26% said they feel undervalued, while 30% said they felt unable to fulfil their full potential with their current company and plan on moving to another job within the next year.
More than a third of people said they would look for a company that nurtured employees’ ideas, followed by 33% who want an employer who encourages innovation and creative thinking.
L’Oréal UK & Ireland country manager Jeremy Schwartz said: “The research gives a powerful insight into today’s employees, and shows how strongly Brits want to have their ideas heard and be involved in company strategy.
“Large FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods] organisations like ours are often considered powerhouses of process but at L’Oréal we’re driven more by passion and contribution than process and conformity. We love to say ‘yes’ to a great idea and a strong business case. ”
To head off turnover, L’Oréal has sought to establish a smaller, start-up company culture within its own corporation.
Schwartz said he has been focused on building teams of ‘intrapreneurs’, encouraging a new breed of employee who can practise all the entrepreneurialism they like but within the security of full-time employment. Demonstrating entrepreneurship has become one of the core competencies L’Oréal’s employees are rated on as part of their development reviews.
The feedback from UK workers in today’s research makes Schwartz even more convinced he is on the right track. In the last few years, L’Oréal’s UK & Ireland employees have come forward with over 300 ideas to drive the business – ranging from new product concepts, marketing and brand initiatives, through to packaging ideas.