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Industrie 4.0

Targeted employee development improves innovation

Whether digital transformation succeeds greatly depends on the innovation potential of companies themselves. A new investigation shows that systematically developing employees increases the chance of inspiration coming from in-house.

20 Nov. 2018
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Targeted employee development improves innovation (Photo: Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovatiosforschung ISI)

The study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research advises industry to provide strategically targeted training for their staff. At a time of digitization and skills shortage, this is apparently a promising remedy for a shortage of innovation. According to the study, three quarters of all companies that follow a systematic training strategy – or at least offer occasional training initiatives – benefit from innovative ideas being developed among their own ranks.

Only a quarter of the 1,300 surveyed firms manage skills strategically, however, although three quarters offer on-the-job qualification activities. 91 % of skilled workers are helped to develop; for unskilled and semi-skilled workers, this figure is just 51 %. In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises are lagging behind large firms when it comes to development, and so are losing out on innovation potential that they desperately need in light of the skills shortage: besides the high investment requirement , this is the biggest roadblock to digital transformation.