Europe’s innovation culture: which countries rank best?

- Leadership - Oct 24, 2016

New research from BMC Software reveals that the UK lags behind other European countries when it comes to fostering a culture of innovation at creativity at work.

Whilst 63 percent of French employees and 57 percent of Spanish employees feel empowered to lead innovation and drive change, less than half (47 percent) of employees surveyed across the UK agree. In turn, this appears to be impacting morale; just 54 percent of employees in the UK said they feel inspired in the workplace compared to 74 percent in Spain, 73 percent in France and 66 percent in Germany. 

As businesses strive to stay ahead of the competition, making innovative use of technology is a top priority. However research commissioned by BMC and conducted by UK business insights agency, Opinion Life, suggests that businesses across the UK are struggling to foster an innovative culture fast enough and failing to capitalise on the creativity of their staff.

In today’s ever-changing business climate with fast-paced competition, the C-suite must take tangible steps to encourage an innovative culture at work, underpinned by the latest technology to meet the demands of today’s workforce.

“To create a culture that capitalises upon the creativity and experience of staff, businesses across the UK should encourage and empower workers to share new ideas to drive innovation. This requires strong leadership, regular feedback and updates so that staff feel they are being heard,” said Shafath Syed, Sr. Director of End User Solutions at BMC. “Employers should identify and empower digital change agents within their businesses, who are tasked with leading innovation and driving change, and given full support from management to do so. However, this can be easier said than done. Businesses should call on the guidance and expertise of strategic partners to help implement Digital Workplace solutions to empower employees.”

While 82 percent of UK workers think that their workplace is productive and a further 74 percent think it is efficient, less than half (42 percent) believe their workplace is innovative. Collaboration plays a key factor in this opinion, with almost a third of UK employees (29 percent) saying that their workplace is siloed and fragmented.

According to the survey, UK businesses are also failing to capitalise upon the creativity of their staff. While 67 percent feel able to offer their ideas at work, only 57 percent think that management are receptive to new ideas, and only 56 percent say there is a formal way to submit ideas to management in the workplace.

Further to observing a lack of innovation and change, many UK workers do not feel equipped to deal with the fast pace of technological change affecting the economy today. Almost half of respondents (40 percent) feel concerned that they do not have the skills necessary for the future workplace. In light of this, BMC found that workers are keen to embrace new digital skills, with 18 percent expressing a desire and thinking they will need to be able to build mobile apps by 2020, up from six percent today in 2016.

Read the October 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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