Curiosity@Work Report | Insights by Country
Key Findings for Brazil
- Managers in Brazil struggle, similarly to their global peers, with issues related to employee morale and retention, as well as face challenges related to hiring applicants with necessary technical and interpersonal skills.
- Managers in Brazil are among the most likely of their global peers to believe curiosity is an intrinsically valuable trait and that it will continue to become more important for employees to have – particularly among company leadership.
- Curiosity can help address Brazilian managers’ concerns. Highly valuable benefits of curiosity include more creative thinking (83%), greater efficiency (79%), and stronger collaboration (74%) in the workplace and among employees.
- Managers in Brazil are more likely than their global counterparts to believe potential benefits of curiosity like increased productivity and creative thinking are very valuable. These managers also note their company formally includes curiosity in company initiatives like employee performance reviews more often. Still, a quarter (24%) of managers in Brazil indicate employees and job applicants do not have enough of this trait, showing further efforts to foster this quality are needed to realize these benefits.
- Three in five managers in Brazil fall into a category of individuals considered to be highly curious based on the SAS Curiosity Index – more compared to other countries surveyed (61% in Brazil vs. 38% globally). These managers exhibit high workplace engagement and motivation and often encourage this valuable skill among their direct reports in multiple ways.
Curiosity is an increasingly valuable employee trait both globally and in Brazil.
Amid the Great Resignation and current hiring frenzy, feelings on the value of curiosity are stronger among managers in Brazil than they are globally. More Brazilian managers:
- Believe curiosity is a very valuable trait in employees (89% in Brazil vs. 72% globally).
- Believe curiosity is much more important for employees to have today than it was five years ago (68% in Brazil vs. 51% globally).
Similar to their global peers, managers in Brazil:
- Strongly agree that curiosity in employees drives real business impact (49%).
- Strongly agree that employees who have more curiosity tend to be higher performers (46%).
Managers in Brazil are likely to believe curiosity is a very valuable trait across organizational levels – particularly within company leadership:
- C-suite executives (57%).
- Directors and departmental leaders (52%).
- Midlevel managers (48%).
- Entry-level employees (47%).
Managers in Brazil are more likely than their peers globally to say curiosity is a valuable trait in employees across departments. Top departments in which these managers believe it is especially valuable for employees to have curiosity are:
- IT (73% in Brazil vs. 64% globally).
- Research and development (67% in Brazil vs. 54% globally).
- Marketing (61% in Brazil vs. 46% globally).
Brazilian managers recognize that curiosity is a skill that can address key challenges and concerns, similar to their global counterparts.
Top employee challenges managers in Brazil are facing:
- Keeping employee morale/motivation high (63%).
- Getting employees to push beyond just basic job duties (51%).
- Retaining good employees (50%).
Managers in Brazil are more likely to believe the potential benefits of curious employees are very valuable compared to their global counterparts:
- More creative thinking and solutions (83% in Brazil vs. 62% globally).
- Greater efficiency and productivity (79% in Brazil vs. 62% globally).
- Stronger collaboration and teamwork (74% in Brazil vs. 58% globally).
- Greater employee engagement and job satisfaction (74% in Brazil vs. 58% globally).
- Greater diversity of thoughts and perspectives (72% in Brazil vs. 56% globally).
- More empathy and inclusivity (71% in Brazil vs. 49% globally).
Brazilian managers, like their global peers, note the interconnectedness of curiosity and data expertise and digital integration.
To succeed in the next three years, managers in Brazil need employees with:
- Technical skills in artificial intelligence (69%) and data analysis (60%).
- Personal attributes like collaboration (62%), flexibility (61%) and emotional intelligence (61%).
Focusing on the beneficial outcomes of curiosity, Brazilian managers believe it is more valuable for employees to have this trait than their global peers when:
- Innovating new solutions (74% in Brazil vs. 62% globally).
- Tackling complex problems (68% in Brazil vs. 55% globally).
- Working with/leading teams (59% in Brazil vs. 48% globally).
Similarly, more than half (53%) of managers in Brazil believe it is especially valuable to have curiosity when analyzing data – on par with global averages.
Looking to managers who rate high in curiosity,1these managers:
- Use an average of four different data sources in their role.
- Often use employee data (58%), customer data (53%) and performance metric data (53%).
These more-curious managers, globally and in Brazil, tend to be more advanced in their company’s integration of digital technology as well. Overall, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Brazilian managers believe their company’s integration of digital technology is very advanced. These managers who rate high in curiosity are equally if not slightly more likely to describe their organization as very advanced (68%), highlighting how curiosity can help organizations adapt and become more competitive.
Curiosity is integral to workplace success and career advancement – and companies in Brazil lead global efforts in inclusion of curiosity in key business initiatives.
Companies in Brazil lead other markets in their formal inclusion of curiosity (or similar traits) in:
- Employee performance review criteria (84% in Brazil vs. 70% globally).
- Company training and development (82% in Brazil vs. 71% globally).
- Hiring criteria (72% in Brazil vs. 66% globally).
- Promotion and advancement decisions (69% in Brazil vs. 66% globally).
Like managers in other markets, those in Brazil personally consider or encourage curiosity via:
- Employee performance review criteria (94%).
- Coaching or team development (90%).
- Promotion and advancement decisions (84%).
- Hiring decisions (78%).
A quarter of managers in Brazil (24%) note employees and job applicants today do not have enough curiosity, on par with the global average (18%). This suggests that managers in Brazil experience similar challenges to their global peers in finding candidates with this skill.
While many managers in Brazil feel equipped to identify this trait, many also face concerns and challenges fostering curiosity.
Brazilian managers are more likely than the global average to believe they are very well equipped to identify curiosity in:
- Direct reports (85% in Brazil vs. 58% globally).
- Job applicants (76% in Brazil vs. 53% globally).
However, approximately a third of managers in Brazil (on par with global averages) are very concerned about curiosity’s potential to lead to:
- Increased risk of errors or bad decisions (38%).
- Decreased efficiency or productivity (36%).
- Greater difficulty coming to a final decision or taking action (34%).
These managers, like their global counterparts, admit they find it challenging to:
- Connect curiosity to job performance (59%).
- Develop curiosity in employees who don’t naturally have it (54%).
- Connect curiosity to business impact (53%).
- Identify situations or problems for which curiosity is most useful (52%).
More-curious managers exhibit greater workplace engagement and work to foster this skill among direct reports in several ways – both globally and within Brazil.
The Curiosity Index2 was used to measure the prevalence of workplace curiosity in managers – managers in Brazil are more likely to fall into categories that rate high in curiosity compared to their global counterparts:
- High curiosity (most inclined to identify with statements defining a curious nature) (61% in Brazil vs. 38% globally).
- Moderate curiosity (28%).
- Low curiosity (least inclined to identify with statements defining a curious nature) (11%).
Highly curious managers in Brazil embrace differing ideas and have a relentless pursuit of knowledge and understanding. They often strongly agree that:
- They seek out opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills (88%).
- They continue to seek information until they understand complex problems fully (88%).
- It is important to listen to ideas from people who think differently (85%).
Further highlighting the value of curiosity in helping companies address some of their key challenges when it comes to employee retention and performance, more-curious managers:
- Strongly agree they would continue to work for their employer for as long as possible (48%).
- Strongly agree they feel motivated to go above and beyond what their job requires (51%).
- Say their direct reports’ performance is very strong (76%).
The top methods more-curious managers in Brazil use to foster and encourage curiosity are by:
- Publicly praising employees who demonstrate curiosity (78%).
- Rewarding curiosity in performance reviews (74%).
- One-on-one coaching or mentoring (68%).
Managers across the curiosity spectrum can be further divided into one of four segments based on how each segment values curiosity in the workplace in various ways.
Managers in Brazil more commonly fall into categories that highly value curiosity than global peers, and can be categorized as:
- High-curiosity collaborators (63% of managers in Brazil vs. 35% globally). The most curious segment. These managers value collaboration, are teamwork-driven and are relentless in finding answers. They do this through listening and valuing co-workers' ideas and continuously seeking opportunities to expand skills but are more hesitant when new challenges present themselves. Focused on curiosity, these managers believe this trait leads to greater efficiency and productivity at work and results in greater job satisfaction.
- Flexibility-driven opinion seekers (17% of managers in Brazil vs. 26% globally). These managers embrace challenges, and the possibility of being distressed does not impact their motivation. Curiosity leads to greater flexibility and adaptability during times of uncertainty and can bring more empathy and inclusivity to workplaces. These managers do not believe that curiosity leads to a boost in efficiency or overall team performance.
- Productivity-focused leaders (13% of managers in Brazil vs. 24% globally). These managers believe curiosity can lead to stronger collaboration and teamwork and help increase efficiency and productivity in the workplace. They do not, however, believe curiosity drives inclusivity and diversity of thought.
- Anti-curiosity leaders (7% of managers in Brazil vs. 16% globally). The smallest segment, these managers do not believe curiosity adds any value to performance or the workplace.
 Base note: n=186 high-curiosity managers.
 The 2021 Curiosity Index: The Curiosity Index score is based on the ratings of 8 different attributes related to curiosity in the workplace. The index transforms the attributes’ raw ratings into a 0-100 metric where all the scores are averaged. Managers with a score of 71 or lower ranked “low” in the index, managers with a score ranging from 72 to 83 were categorized as “medium” and those with a score of 84 or higher were assigned to the “high” category. The thresholds in each category were derived based on the index score distribution and best practices. Questions used in the development of this index were inspired by research conducted by Todd Kashdan and his team on the topic of curiosity in the workplace, “Curiosity has comprehensive benefits in the workplace: Developing and validating a multidimensional workplace curiosity scale in United States and German employees”.
Given its global value and impact, it is evident that curiosity is an increasingly necessary and crucial skill employees across levels (especially leadership) need to develop as well as a trait that organizations must foster to remain competitive. Findings among Brazil-based managers show their employers are leading global averages in their company’s formal inclusion of curiosity in company initiatives like performance reviews, training and hiring. However, many managers in Brazil believe that employees and job applicants do not have enough of this trait, highlighting that more can be done to further encourage this important skill. Curiosity can foster more creative and productive workplaces, and address challenges related to employee morale and retention – key to mitigating the Great Resignation and hiring challenges that many organizations in Brazil and globally are experiencing.
Knowing how to effectively develop this trait among employees is difficult. Many managers in Brazil and on a global level find it challenging to connect this skill to areas like job performance and overall business impact. Managers identified as being more curious in our research show high motivation and satisfaction in their role and actively work to encourage this trait among their direct reports. This is done in multiple ways, by rewarding curiosity in performance reviews or publicly praising employees who demonstrate this trait. The case for curiosity is clear; it is now up to organizations to continue to embrace this trait and for managers to further incorporate this skill in their employee development efforts or risk falling behind.