The Role of Arts in Business (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Emily Peck, Apr 22, 2009 0 comments

Every day it seems like another corporation is planning layoffs.  The employees who keep their jobs are often stressed, overworked and their morale is low.  Businesses are left wondering how they can get out of this recession when they are struggling to do more with fewer resources.  This is where the arts can play an important role by improving employee morale, encouraging creativity and, as a result, improving the bottom line.

U.S. employers rate creativity/innovation as one of the top five skills that will increase in importance in the next five years and they rank creativity/innovation as one of the top ten challenges they will face in the next ten years according to research from the Conference Board. CEOs view participation in the arts as one of the top indicators of employee creativity and innovation.  Whether it’s a performance in the workplace, an opportunity to volunteer at an arts festival, company tickets to a symphony or an employee art exhibition, the arts can stimulate innovation and creativity.

The arts can also help improve employee morale and engagement, allowing employees the focus and energy necessary to do their jobs well.  Engaged employees are 18% more productive, 12% more profitable, 51% less likely to leave the organization at low-turnover companies, 31% less likely to leave the organization at high-turnover companies, not to mention other critical measures such as creativity and innovation, customer engagement, trust, and reciprocity according to a Gallup study of 682,000 employees.

On May 5 at Business Committee for the Arts’ Forum for New Ideas in New York City, business and arts leaders will gather to discuss how the arts can pay dividends for business.  Jonathan Spector, CEO, The Conference Board; Krista Pilot, Senior Vice President, Dan Klores Communications; and Randy Cohen, Vice President of Local Arts Advancement, Americans for the Arts will discuss the value of including the arts as part of a company’s giving guidelines and corporate culture.  The arts are not part of the problem; they are part of the solution.

This article comes from Arts Watch, the newly redesigned version of the Cultural Policy Listserv. If you would like to receive Arts Watch, please sign up.

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