A study commissioned by Emirates Global Aluminium has shown that while employees believe companies in the UAE are becoming more innovative, many firms are failing to unlock the innovation potential of the entire workforce.
Some 94 percent of people working in the UAE believe that the country is more innovative than it was five years ago, and a similar number believe that innovation at companies contributes to national competitiveness. Nearly 3 in 4 managers and 2 in 3 junior staff describe the companies they work for as innovative, but 60 percent of managers believe that innovation is a responsibility only of senior executives. Half of junior staff agree.
This is despite around half the UAE workforce, according to the survey, believing that innovation is ‘finding better ways to do anything’, and not just revolutionary inventions.
“Systematically engaging everyone in our workforce in continuous improvement has been a foundation of EGA’s global competitiveness for almost four decades,” said Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at EGA. “Without hundreds of thousands of suggestions from our employees, we could not have built EGA into one of the world’s biggest ‘premium aluminium’ producers and a national industrial champion.
Just 10 percent of managers in the UAE and 18 percent of junior staff feel that their companies are not interested in innovation. An additional 1 in 5 believe their companies lack resources to innovate.
EGA’s continuous improvement system is based on the belief that the people closest to a work process can identify what improvements are required and devise the best solution.
“UAE’s Vision 2021 calls for the creation of a knowledge-based, highly-productive and competitive economy by harnessing the full potential of our national human capital. In order to do this, we call on all UAE companies to unlock the innovation potential of all their employees. That way, millions of minds will drive the UAE’s global competitiveness and the creation of a knowledge-based economy,” added Kalban.