Recruitment of talented specialists is posing more and more of a challenge to German industry. Nearly three quarters of the industrial companies in Germany ascribe great importance to this issue. Obtaining talent is the second-biggest challenge facing German industry after the general pressure to differentiate. These are results of the “Industry Innovation Index 2016” study conducted by the Forsa institute. For the study, which was commissioned by the specialty chemicals group ALTANA for the third time in a row, 500 managers and entry-level professionals working for industrial companies were surveyed.

Especially young and well-trained specialists want their potential employers to have a corporate culture in which there is sufficient room for employees to come up with their own ideas and innovative solutions. Hence the development of an innovation-promoting corporate culture is decisive for attracting and keeping specialists.

Trust Employees and At the Same Time Entrust Them with Responsibility

Managers are particularly important when it comes to promoting innovation. However, the number of managers who say they make a relevant contribution to promoting innovation in their company decreased compared to the previous year. In 2016, 67 percent of the managers surveyed said they did so, while in 2015 it was 74 percent, and in 2014, 81 percent.

According to the study, only 22 percent of the entry-level professionals saw their superior as a true role model for applied innovation culture. In 2015, the figure was 26 percent. “People need to be able to excel to the best of their abilities. To do so, managers need to trust their employees and at the same time entrust them with responsibility,” says Martin Babilas, the CEO of ALTANA. “Only those who have the opportunity to unfold their personality can embrace the development of future-oriented ideas and solutions in a motivated and sustainable way.”

Background to the “Industry Innovation Index” Study

In the spring of 2016, the market research institute Forsa conducted 500 telephone interviews with representatives of industrial companies with at least 250 employees for a study commissioned by the specialty chemicals company ALTANA. A total of 250 management board members, managing directors, and division heads were interviewed. In parallel, Forsa surveyed 250 entry-level professionals from industrial companies aged 18 to 35 with one to five years of professional experience.

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