83% of executives say they encourage curiosity, but only half of employees agree

Though many organization leaders believe they understand the importance of employee curiosity and encourage it accordingly, not all employees agree, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Researchers from SurveyMonkey and INSEAD surveyed 16,000 employees and 1,500 C-suite leaders to explore the gap between how people in different roles view curiosity.

The team found 83 percent of C-suite or president-level executives believe curiosity is either encouraged a great deal or a good amount at their organizations. However, only 52 percent of employee respondents said they felt the same. Nearly half (49 percent) of executive respondents believe curiosity is rewarded by salary growth, but only 16 percent of employees agree. Eighty-one percent of employees said they believe curiosity makes no real difference in their compensation.

"A disconnect between leaders’ and employees’ assumptions about the value of curiosity within an organization prevents new information from flowing into the organization," the study's authors write. "Unless leaders can see the barriers to curiosity throughout their organizations and create systems for it to flourish, they will remain in a prison of their own construction: believing themselves free to be curious and therefore believing everyone else is equally curious and unimpeded."

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