Innovation

The UK lags behind other European countries when it comes to fostering a culture of innovation work, according to new research by BMC Software.

Whilst 63% of French employees and 57% of Spanish employees feel empowered to lead innovation and drive change, less than half (47%) of employees surveyed across the UK agree, revealed the research commissioned by BMC and conducted by UK business insights agency, Opinion Life.

In turn, this appears to be impacting morale, as just 54% of employees in the UK said they feel inspired in the workplace compared to 74% in Spain, 73% in France and 66% in Germany.

As businesses strive to stay ahead of the competition, making innovative use of technology is a top priority. However, the research 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, said the BMC.

Shafath Syed, senior director of End User Solutions at BMC said: “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.

While 82% of UK workers think that their workplace is productive and a further 74% think it is efficient, less than half (42%) believe their workplace is innovative. Collaboration plays a key factor in this opinion, with almost a third of UK employees 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% feel able to offer their ideas at work, only 57% think that management are receptive to new ideas, and only 56% 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 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% expressing a desire and thinking they will need to be able to build mobile apps by 2020, up from 6% today in 2016. 

Mr. Syed added: “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.”