Social Innovation
Report: Understanding workplace innovation

 research

Eurofund have released a new report entitled: ‘Workplace innovation in European companies’.

Workplace innovation measures (WPI) are emerging as a force to transform workplaces, to make better use of human resources, talents and skills whilst also maintaining a competitive edge through invention and efficiency. However, there is a need for greater clarity about what policymakers can do to stimulate WPI.

The report provides an understanding of why and how WPI is implemented in companies and organisations. It looks at reasons for enabling WPI, adoption and implementation, and impact on the organisation, management and employees.
The research is based on 51 companies identified in Eurofound’s third European Company Survey (ECS 2013) as having substantial WPI practices. The report found that the primary drivers for introducing WPI practices in European companies are to improve efficiency, gain competitive advantage and enhance innovative capability. While it is clear that the main motivation behind introducing WPI is usually economic and business-related, most practices (69%) target both goals of enhancing company performance and improving quality of working life.

The report additionally finds that, whilst worker involvement early on is important in the success of WPI, it is usually management that takes the initiative to innovate in the workplace.

“We found that workplace innovators seem to naturally align themselves with employee interests, and as a result there are gains for both the organisation as a whole and the employees,” says Stavroula Demetriades, senior program manager at Eurofound. “Those gains can be higher employee engagement, performance, greater learning opportunities, interesting, challenging jobs, and longer term sustainability.”

The authors of the report argue that there is an urgent need for new thinking on how European and national policy can help to shape more productive and healthier workplaces through WPI in much of Europe

Eurofound’s new Spotlight on win-win practices can be found here

For further information, contact:
• Måns Mårtensson, Media Manager, on email: mma@eurofound.europa.eu
• Stavroula Demetriades, Senior Research Manager, std@eurofound.europa.eu
• Ricardo Rodriquez Contreras, Research Officer, rrc@eurofound.europa.eu
• Gijs Van Houten, Research Officer, gvh@eurofound.europa.eu

 

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