Many Don’t Encourage Employees to Take Risks

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<p><strong>Princeton, N.J. &mdash; May 22</strong><br />Managers are reluctant to encourage risk taking by their workers, according to a nationwide telephone survey of employed Americans by consulting firm BlessingWhite.&nbsp; </p><p>Only 26 percent of those surveyed said they are often asked by an employer to seek new solutions, and 41 percent reported they are never encouraged to take risks.</p><p>In response to the question, &quot;Does your manager encourage you to look for new solutions or to take risks?&quot; the results are as follows:</p><ul><li>Often: <strong>26 percent</strong></li><li>Sometimes: <strong>33 percent </strong><br /></li><li>Never: <strong>41 percent&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</strong></li></ul><p>Among the survey&rsquo;s other findings:</p><ul><li>Women are less likely to be encouraged to take risks.&nbsp; Forty-seven percent of women said they are never asked to do so, compared with 36 percent of men.<br /></li><li>Risk taking is encouraged most often among employees age 35 to 44, one-third of whom reported being asked often, compared with just 25 percent of those younger than 35 and fewer than 23 percent of employees older than 44.<br /></li><li>Risk taking tends to be encouraged most often among employees in the Northeast and in metropolitan areas, as well as those with higher household incomes and more years of education. <br /></li><li>For those employees whose managers encourage risk taking, 50 percent receive praise when things work out well, 35 percent receive neither praise nor criticism and 9 percent receive outright criticism for their efforts. &nbsp;</li></ul><p>&ldquo;Everyone wants innovation in their organization, but no one wants to deal with failure,&rdquo; said Christopher Rice, BlessingWhite CEO. &ldquo;Creating a culture that fosters innovation and risk taking means that managers need to reward for failure, as well as success. Given one in three people are neither praised nor criticized for taking risks, many leaders are not focusing on creating cultures that can deliver on the desired levels of innovation and creativity they are seeking from their workforce.&rdquo;<br /><br />Rice said this is due to the reality and pressure on having to deliver on immediate results.&nbsp; </p><p>&ldquo;Everyone wants to innovate so their company comes up with new ideas for the future, but then they are faced with all the work that needs to be done day to day,&quot; he said. &quot;Pressure on productivity and immediate results is taking priority over fostering innovation and risk taking.&quot; <br />&nbsp;<br />The telephone survey of 690 employed Americans was conducted for BlessingWhite on April 25-30. Percentages are based on total respondents employed full time or part time who have a manager or are not self-employed.</p>

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