Transforming leaders see their organisations as systems of interdependent parts. They know that change succeeds when individual initiatives are reinforced – rather than undermined – by management behaviours, performance metrics, fluid structures and employee voice.
So what does a systemic organisational vision look like?
Our team and its partners co-created workplace innovation as a concept and we’re delivering it in practical ways to organisations across Europe. Workplace innovation is spreading. It is part of the EU’s strategy for innovation and competitiveness, adopted by governments to boost economic growth and prosperity and by companies across Europe.
The Productive Organisation
Researchers have accumulated a vast body of evidence relating to the impact of workplace innovation on productivity, quality, customer service, financial performance and a broad array of other business outcomes.
High performance and good work: mutually supportive, not a trade-off
As well as enhancing business performance, empowering work practices increase employee motivation and well-being, playing a particularly important role in reducing stress, enhancing job satisfaction and mental health, and improving retention.
So if it’s that good, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Great question! We know that only a minority of businesses and public sector organisations are making full use of these evidence-based practices. In Europe as a whole, for example, less than 20% of employees are in jobs that allow them to use discretion and judgement in how they undertake their tasks according to evidence from the 2019 European Company Survey. Yet the same evidence shows that these workers make significantly enhanced contributions to business performance and enjoy better health and wellbeing at work.
Long-established ways of doing things are, of course, a powerful force for inertia. Change can be disruptive even when we know that current ways of working are inefficient or prevent us from taking full advantage of new opportunities. Some managers feel threatened or are simply resistant to the idea that employees should be empowered to exercise discretion in their work, contribute to improvement and innovation, and play a wider role in decision-making.
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