Stand by for The Friday Pitch

A recent global research study by Adobe has revealed a worrying ‘workplace creativity gap’, with three quarters of respondents claiming to be under pressure to be productive rather than creative.  Four in ten workers believe that they do not have access to tools to be creative and while 80% of people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth, only 1 in 4 people believe they are living up to their own creative potential.   Meanwhile, a UK survey by YouGov suggests employers are failing to inspire their staff and make them feel valued, with only 21% of employees believing their company cares about its staff.   More than a third of respondents to the survey also said they rarely or never received appropriate or sufficient recognition at work and a similar number of people said they are dissatisfied with the communication that they receive from their senior management.   So, two rather depressing insights into the working lives of millions of people in 2012.   We clearly have a serious motivation and engagement issue going on here, but is this just a reflection of the economic landscape or is there a more alarming, deep-rooted downward trend of disenchantment in the workplace?   I do strongly believe that the nature of workplace motivation and engagement is changing, and that employees are seeking something more from their working lives.   It’s a change that I think many organisations are failing to recognize and respond to.   In his best-selling book, Drive, Dan Pink neatly summarizes the three key motivational drivers of the 21st century – autonomy (the need to direct our own lives), mastery (the desire to be good at something) and purpose (the search for something bigger than ourselves).    So what are we doing to meet these needs?  Well, despite the rhetoric about innovation, it’s clear that many organisations are failing to provide creative tools and opportunities for their people to have and to develop ideas.    Despite the ever-increasing competitive landscape, it’s clear that organisations are not offering the development opportunities and support to allow their people to gain mastery in their field.   And despite the impact of globalization, it’s clear that organisations are not geared up to facilitate knowledge sharing, collaboration and the satisfaction that comes from doing something for a greater good.   I don’t have the answers, but I do think communications professionals have a key role to play in the solution, so I’ll play my part by putting forward some suggestions over the coming weeks, every Friday – some radical, some controversial and some just plain common sense.   I’ll call it The Friday Pitch and I’ll start this Friday with … why visions don’t work.

Adobe State of Create Study

YouGov UK survey