Living and Working in Europe 2014: Workplace innovation is instrumental for boosting growth and productivity

Workplace innovation is increasingly recognised as a driver for reaching Europe's goals of smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, resulting in more job creation, developing human capital and boosting productivity. Over half of companies in Europe have instruments in place to enable direct participation of employees. However, employee retention remains an issue in one in ten companies and poor employee motivation is an issue in almost one in five.

These developments in workplace practices are laid out in the new 'Living and Working in Europe 2014' report. The report highlights that the way in which companies organise their work is vital in facilitating innovation, improving performance and ensuring job quality. Maintaining good levels of motivation and productivity are particularly important in a backdrop of a greater number of personal financial challenges and stress brought about by the financial crisis. 

Over four in five managers and more than two in three employees in Europe report a good working climate, with higher levels reported in smaller companies. There are also large differences between countries, with a good work climate reported in over 80% of establishments in Bulgaria and Romania, and in fewer than 50% of establishments in France, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and the UK. 

Almost nine out of ten companies have structures in place for employee representation; seven out of ten companies actively seek the feedback of employees in decision-making processes, and in six out of ten workplaces employees are involved in joint decision-making with management. 

Despite these mechanisms for improving employee representation and retention, four out of ten EU companies have difficulties finding workers with the rights skills. This is particularly problematic considering the economic recession and high levels of unemployment in Europe. 

For more information see the 'Win-Win Work Places' chapter in the 'Living and Working in Europe 2014’ report. 

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