30.09.2015

Understanding workplace innovation key to making better use of human talents and skills

Workplace innovation measures (WPI) are emerging as a strong driving force to
transform workplaces to make better use of human talents and skills while
sharpening innovation and improving competitiveness. However, there is a need
for greater clarity about what policymakers can do to stimulate WPI.
Eurofound's new report on ‘Workplace innovation in European companies' provides
an understanding of why and how WPI is implemented in companies and
organisations.

Workplace innovation (WPI) is a developed and implemented practice or
combination of practices which enables employees to participate in
organisational change and renewal and hence improve the quality of working life
and organisational performance. This report looks at reasons for enabling WPI,
adoption and implementation, and impact on organisation and management,
employees and employee representatives.

The report found that the primary organisational drivers to introduce WPI
practices in European companies are to improve efficiency, gain competitive
advantage and enhance innovative capability. While it is clear that the main
reason for introducing WPI is economic and business-related, most practices
(69%) target both goals of enhancing company performance and improving quality
of working life.

The report outlines five distinguished types of WPI practices in European
companies. Some 14% of the company cases were WPI practices oriented towards
the structure of work, for example, job autonomy, teamwork, and employment
budget control. 20% are WPI practices oriented towards culture, such
communication, consultation and social dialogue. The third type contains
practices that combine elements of both orientation and culture. The fourth
type cover HR-related practices, which account for 39%, and include personnel
recruitment, training, competency development, performance appraisal, working
conditions, remuneration, flexibility, and health, risk and safety measures.
The last type of intervention, accounting for 8%, are related, to introduction
of IT systems or technology.

The report also finds that management usually takes the initiative to innovate
in work organisation, and the involvement of employees follows quickly in order
for any initiative to be successful.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Eurofound