During the event successful business stories supporting the case for workplace innovation were showcased. But the discussion was also concentrated on the challenge presented by the slow uptake of workplace innovation by businesses and other organizations across Europe. One of the reasons may be due to some extent to cultural and public policy differences.
The new Eurofound research shows that the Nordic countries have the highest levels of employee involvement while the Mediterranean and Eastern European countries have particularly low levels. The research also found that higher levels of employee involvement are more likely to be found in companies with relatively advanced technology and a more skilled workforce.
Normet, a Finnish based enterprise providing specialist services to the mining and tunnelling industry, was among the companies presenting their experience. Normet used workplace innovation to replace top down management with new communication methods creating dialogue between management and the shop floor and the shop floor back to management.
This enabled the business to harvest an abundance of innovative ideas and market opportunities to improve its processes and products. Normet sees the initiative as directly responsible for quadrupling turnover and creating over 600 new jobs.
InfoCare, an expanding Finnish ICT business providing outsourced installation, maintenance and support services told the HELIX conference that it had decreased lead time of its service delivery, increased sales and improved customer and employee satisfaction and competencies through a development project which increased employees’ readiness and flexibility to understand, react and adapt to change.
The conference was attended by leading researchers, experts on entrepreneurship and innovation, prominent representatives of social partners as well as policy makers and business representatives.
More regional EUWIN events are to come soon!