Working conditions and sustainable work

Innovation in EU companies: Do workplace practices matter?

Policy brief
Gepubliceerd
1 juli 2021
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Hoofdconclusies

  • Certain workplace practices are associated with innovation in companies. These practices are based on a people-centred approach that seeks to develop employees, to give them autonomy in their work and to include them in organisational decision-making.
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  • Certain workplace practices are associated with innovation in companies. These practices are based on a people-centred approach that seeks to develop employees, to give them autonomy in their work and to include them in organisational decision-making.
  • Companies should be encouraged to adopt workplace practices that are associated with innovation because the green and digital transformation requires more innovators. Such workplace practices could be promoted among companies receiving support from national innovation agencies or from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility.
  • Enhancing line managers’ skills for innovation leadership and support can facilitate innovation behaviour within an organisation. Manager training should be a priority in the implementation of the European Skills Agenda (under Action 7: Increasing STEM graduates and fostering entrepreneurial and transversal skills) and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
  • Skills are crucial for both incremental and radical innovation. While workers need to be proactive in their engagement with learning, equally important is that management supports, nurtures and provides the conditions for learning to occur.
  • Networking and innovation clusters should be supported, as innovation requires a rich ecosystem of diverse types of companies that can learn from each other’s practices. The new EU Startup Nations Standard initiative provides a set of good practices that is useful for national and regional SME-support centres, business associations and companies.
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Samenvatting

The EU has long supported innovation in business and in workplaces. The challenges facing Europe as it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis make the need for innovation more urgent. The NextGenerationEU recovery package requires a reorientation of business activities towards innovation for resilienceRead more

The EU has long supported innovation in business and in workplaces. The challenges facing Europe as it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis make the need for innovation more urgent. The NextGenerationEU recovery package requires a reorientation of business activities towards innovation for resilience. Looking to the longer term, policies such as the European Industrial Strategy aim to support the transition to a green and digital economy.
Against this background, this policy brief investigates the workplace practices of innovative companies and examines the evidence linking them with innovation. These practices aim to encourage employees to work and problem-solve independently, to develop their skills, to include them in organisational decision-making, to motivate them to surpass their job description and to reward them for doing so. Analysis of these workplace practices can improve understanding of how they contribute to increasing the innovation potential of companies. It also provides an evidence base to support the work of policymakers and practitioners.

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Onderzoek dat is uitgevoerd vóór de terugtrekking van het VK uit de Europese Unie op 31 januari 2020 en dat vervolgens is gepubliceerd, kan gegevens over de 28 EU-lidstaten bevatten. Na deze datum wordt bij onderzoek alleen rekening gehouden met de 27 EU-lidstaten (EU28 minus het VK), tenzij anders vermeld.

Part of the series

  • European Company Survey 2019

    Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance. 

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