Introduction

 

We began in 1997 because there were too few spaces where enterprises, employers’ organisations, trade unions, policymakers, professional bodies and researchers could come together, both to explore the future of work and organisations and to address the persistent “long tail” of those not making use of workplace practices that engage and develop the full talent and creativity of employees at all levels.

Since our foundation we have created a series of joint initiatives and projects involving diverse stakeholders, held regular pro bono events to share evidence and good practice, and has been a persistent advocate for national government and EU policies to promote better ways of working.

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Research and Evidence

 

Two things are clear.

Firstly there is a vast and growing body of evidence to show that workplace innovation practices which empower employees to make day-to-day-decisions, challenge established practices, contribute ideas and be heard at the most senior levels of an organisation lead to better business results as well as enhanced workforce health and engagement.

Secondly it is equally clear that most businesses are either unaware of this evidence, or that they are unable or unwilling to act on it. Successive surveys demonstrate a substantial gap between research evidence of “what works” and common workplace practice.

We work with diverse stakeholders to:

  • Undertake high quality research into leading practice and emerging challenges relating to work and organisations. Current and Past Projects
  • Build bridges between research and practice through publications, events and the creation of the EUWIN Knowledge Bank as the leading European source of case studies, articles and other learning resources on workplace innovation.

We have also established Workplace Innovation Limited as a consultancy arm to help companies and public sector organisations create new and better ways of working which build on a vast body of research.

Explore the site to learn more about our surprising range of activities.

 Contact Us

Workplace Innovation helps improve performance and working lives by releasing the full range of talent, knowledge and creativity from employees at every level.

Organisational Health Check

A springboard to innovation


Our Health Checks are not about us telling you what is wrong or right with your organisation. They are about your people telling us what is wrong or right, what can be done better, what works really well and what doesn’t.

An Organisational Health Check acts as a springboard with the potential to release innovative behaviour, improve performance, enhance employee well-being and stimulate growth.

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Insight



We know the importance of listening to employees at every level in order to understand what is working and what needs to be improved.

Our reports based on employees’ own accounts of experiences at work provide boards and senior management teams with a powerful stimulus for change, and help to define priorities for action.

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Facilitating Change and Innovation

Breaking down walls and ceilings


Workplace Innovation is at the heart of performance, growth and employee well-being. Many see it but don’t know how to implement it.

We help organizations review improvement and innovation practices by breaking down walls and ceilings and creating dialogue across hierarchies and functions so that the better argument always wins.

Workplace Innovation’s facilitators work closely with leaders, managers and employees at every level, understanding their aspirations and strengths as well as what holds them back. We seek solutions co-created by all of the main stakeholders in an issue to ensure buy-in and to minimise resistance to change.


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Working with Boards and Senior Teams

Horizon-scanning, thought leadership and rehearsing the future


What will your business look like in 2024 and what will your role be in leading it?

Seeing the world in a different way should be on the job description of Directors. Change is happening and it can’t be controlled but it can be anticipated.

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Developing Emerging Leaders

From transactional to transformational


The demands of leadership are changing. At a time of significant challenge and opportunity, leaders and managers must drive improvement and innovation while motivation and energising employees. Emerging leaders must migrate from purely transactional management to proactive, transformational behaviour while current leaders must address the question of succession.

But where are the next leaders coming from and what skills and competences will they actually need?

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Interactive Theatre

Using drama to provoke thought and motivate change

Interactive theatre in the workplace is a real eye-opener. It helps to unlock employee engagement and creativity, one of the key challenges in securing successful organisational change, improving performance and enhancing working life – but it does it very differently.

You’ll see your organisations in a completely different and thought-provoking light.

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Presentations, Facilitation and Masterclasses

Stimulating, informing and resourcing innovation and change


Expert facilitation, engaging presentations, creative thinking and interactive theatre are just some of the ways we enhance and enliven conferences, time-out sessions, in-house training and team development workshops.

We can also deliver masterclasses and provide internationally recognised expert speakers covering all aspects of people centres change, employee engagement, high involvement innovation and leadership development.

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Transformational Coaching

Achieving a new culture


We know how to coach – we do it for a living. However, we are also on a mission to help managers and leaders become inspired coaches in their own right and to introduce a coaching culture to their organisations that will achieve sustainable benefits.

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Networking and Knowledge Sharing

Remember, you are not alone


Networking, knowledge sharing, the pooling of ideas and intellectual capital are the dynamics that underpin a sustainable movement of workplace innovation and provide all organisations looking to change and to challenge the future with access to the choices open to them and the experiences of others.

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Flexible ILM Leadership & Coaching Courses 

In-house and Distance Learning


Flexibility in learning is becoming increasingly important in employee development. We are experiencing a significant increase in clients needing a more flexible approach to the delivery of our ILM programmes.

Releasing staff to attend off-site public courses can cause problems for organisations, despite the obvious benefits of individuals from different backgrounds and industries sharing their experiences as they learn together. It is not always convenient for managers to block out days in their diary to attend sessions off-site, on dates that tend to be inflexible.

We recognise this and in addition to our public courses we are able to offer a range of flexible options to make it easier for organisations and individuals to access our ILM Leadership, Management and Coaching programme.

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Scotland Leads the Way


Workplace Innovation Europe CLG is proud to support Scotland’s pioneering initiatives
to promote better, more productive workplaces.

Since the beginning of 2016 we have been working with Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland
and Highlands & Islands Enterprise to promote and resource workplace innovation in a diverse range of companies.


Jump to: Scotland’s policy-makers are leading the way Our events with Scottish companies



The Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme Summary Report July 2018

Workplace Innovation Europe logoScottish Enterprise LogoIn 2016, Scotland’s Fair Work Convention set out its vision for the future of work which included a practical blueprint for Fair Work and a new type of dialogue between employers, employees and trade unions, public bodies and the Scottish Government. In response, Scottish Enterprise launched a portfolio of initiatives to promote workplace innovation, amongst the most significant of which is the two-year pilot Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP), delivered by Workplace Innovation Europe CLG.


What is workplace innovation?

Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP), Workplace Innovation, Scottish EnterpriseAs co-creators of the concept, Workplace Innovation Limited defines it as the introduction of empowering workplace practices that enable people at every level of the organisation to use and develop their full range of knowledge, skills, experience and creativity, leading to significantly enhanced business performance and quality of working life.

The Essential Fifth Element approach to workplace innovation is based on a vast body of research evidence and practical experience which shows that these outcomes are achieved by combining:

  • Discretionary learning jobs plus self-managed teamworking
  • Regular opportunities for employees to contribute to improvement & innovation
  • Permeable organisational structures plus performance metrics and managers aligned to empowerment
  • Senior level commitment to devolved decision-making and employee voice.

These interdependent bundles of practice combine to create workplace cultures of innovation and engagement.


How does the Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme help?

Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP), Workplace Innovation, Scottish Enterprise, enhanced performance and working livesWIEP was designed to overcome the gap between evidence-based workplace practice and common practice in Scottish companies. We know that there is a ‘long tail’ yet to benefit from workplace innovation, with consequent losses for productivity, product and service innovation, skills development and utilisation, and employee health.

The programme brings diverse cohorts of companies together on a nine month shared journey towards the sustainable transformation of workplace practices. Two participants from each company gain the knowledge and skills required to engage others in their organisations to plan and implement exciting changes.

WIEP combines a state-of-the-art Workplace Diagnostic survey, interactive workshops, an online platform for learning and interaction, peer-to-peer support through action learning, individual coaching and in-house facilitation, helping each company to address its individual needs and opportunities as part of a community of companies on similar journeys.

Individual participants gain an internationally-recognised qualification in Leadership & Management while their companies gain sustainable improvements across a range of indicators and continuing capacity for change.


Impact

The first cohort of ten companies began the programme in November 2016, completing it during Autumn 2017.

Cohort 2, with nine companies, commenced the programme in September 2017 and continued until completion in June 2018.

Each company made tangible changes in working practice, including self-managed teams, employee involvement in improvement and innovation, reducing functional silos and hierarchies, changing management roles and behaviours, eliminating low-trust systems and procedures, delegating decision-making, greater openness and transparency, introducing or revitalising employee forums, and building more inclusive approaches to leadership.

Companies enhanced profitability and competitiveness by improving cost control, workflow, decision-making, quality, customer service and capacity for innovation. 100% participants satisfied or very satisfied, and each company reports that benefits would not be have been achieved at all, or to the same extent, without WIEP.


Here is a small selection from the 19 companies:

Argenta
Pharmaceuticals

Reduced the impact of functional divisions to improve workflow, delegated decision-making to team and involved staff in innovation.

Significant cost reduction and efficiency gains, and major steps towards creating a culture of improvement and innovation.

Booth Welsh
Engineering services

Greater transparency and measures to engage staff, reducing functional silos and stimulating employee-driven innovation.

60+ ideas generated by employees; Martin Welsh (MD) argues that WIEP has placed the company 12 months ahead of its competitors.

Cornerstone
Social care

Introduced self-managed teams and a flatter management structure to address changing and more complex demands in the care sector.

Enhanced client satisfaction, greater resource efficiency and improved staff engagement.

DS Smith
Packaging

Leadership transparency; delegation of decision-making to frontline meetings; employee-led process mapping and improvement.

WIEP played a vital role in changing work practices through DS Smith Lockerbie, leading to a £1.4m profit upturn without capital investment.

Laing Traditional Masonry
Building renovation

Leadership transparency and enhanced 2-way communication with site-based teams combined with good practice teamwork principles.

Significant improvements in meeting targets and an average improvement in profitability of 6% per project.

Premier Hytemp
Engineering

Introduction of a representative ‘Shop Committee’ bringing employee voice into decision-making and stimulating ideas for improvement.

MD claims that KPIs have all improved as a result of employee voice measures introduced by WIEP, building pride in the workplace.


What they say about WIEP. . .

I highly recommend WIEP and suggest that everyone should go on it. It works for every size of business.
Chris Owens, IOM

The Essential Fifth Element Diagnostic allowed us to pin point the areas of the business where we needed to focus and prioritise. This focus allowed us to tackle the real challenges on site. Without the Diagnostic there is a danger that we would have looked for the traditional ‘low hanging fruit’ or more ‘attractive’ improvement initiatives. By focusing on the structures and processes that our teams work with, we are able to free them from bureaucracy. With this new-found freedom they’re innovating and improving - that is the power of The Essential Fifth Element.
David O’Byrne, Argenta Dundee

WIEP exceeded all expectations and was enjoyable and rewarding. Invaluable facilitation of cultural change.
David MacPherson, Charles River

This programme affects the way people involved in change think and act, and gives a power to the change process.
Sara Blanco Rodriguez, Kilco

It’s been an eye-opening experience not just personally but as a company. It’s changed the way we look at staff and how at how I interact with people working around me. Especially after a session, I think about the way you’ve supported us, yes that’s okay, what do you think? A good idea! Just the way you were speaking and sharing so much.
Iain Heddle, Laing Traditional Masonry

Rosemary and Peter from Workplace Innovation have taken participants on a learning journey. The programme has been excellent for learning from other organisations. Building key networks and relationships has been invaluable. The content of the programme has been geared to ensure all organisations gain something. We are introducing a new business model and this programme has certainly helped guide and support us as we commence our three year Strategic Plan to bring transformational change to the care sector.
Mairi Martin, Cornerstone

We wouldn’t be thinking like this at all without being involved in the programme . . . there wouldn’t be that journey to where we are now.
Harriet Boyle, Glenton

I can see a difference also in the two people that have been in this course and I can see how they are keen to see that change to be replicated within the business. For me it has exceeded all expectations, probably gone beyond the boundaries of where I thought it would go, it goes right under the skin of the business. I am happy that we are now at the other side of it, that it’s made a big difference.
Martin Welsh, Booth Welsh


Conclusions

Companies participating achieved significant improvements in a relatively short period of time, and have establsihed a sustainable momentum of change with real potential to go much further.

Feedback on the programme has been overwhelmingly positive, focusing on the overall quality of support, the learning, sharing and ‘camaraderie’ between companies, and the practical outcomes stimulated by WIEP. Group-based programmes such as WIEP offer policymakers particular value for money, firstly because most of the expert input is shared by the whole cohort, and secondly because peer-to-peer support, as an important motivator and a valuable source of ideas, comes as part of the package without extra cost.

With slow productivity growth affecting many Scottish businesses, this clearly requires new thinking about what can be done to make more businesses competitive and to tackle the long tail of businesses under-performing.

The WIEP programme is one of a number of support services provided by Scottish Enterprise to help companies implement innovative, fair and responsible business practices, and I am delighted to see the benefits that the participating businesses are reporting.

The critical issue for us is to help employers create the conditions for fulfilling work which is meaningful to individual workers and can create a sense of pride and interest in what they do. Evidence indicates that pursuing a smarter people-centred approach to work, which secures participation and fairness will reap significant business benefits.

Clare Alexander, Head of Workplace Innovation, Scottish Enterprise


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Scottish Enterprise, Workplace Innovation Europe, Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP), Scotland How Scotland’s policy-makers are leading the way in workplace innovation

Rarely in the UK has the role of policy-makers in creating a vision of the workplaces of the future been so decisive and catalytic. The challenge was taken up by Scottish Enterprise, the country’s main economic development agency, who began to work with partners in the public and private sectors to identify and exploit the best opportunities to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy.

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News


Workplace Innovation at Booth WelshIndustry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace

The event, Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace, brought an amazing international group of companies and experts together to explore how successful organisations are engaging employees in digital transformation. The key takeaway was that technological innovation and innovation in work processes need to go hand in hand.

Read more

Workplace Innovation at CornerstoneThe Journey towards Self-Directed Teamworking

The event 'The Journey towards Self-Directed Teamworking' was hosted by Cornerstone and CEO Edel Harris, Strategy Implementation Leader Mairi Martin and several members of their frontline teams presented one of the best examples of the journey towards self-managed teamworking that we’ve heard in 25 years! Participants from five other companies on similar journeys took part in this latest Fresh Thinking Labs event, gaining unique insights into organisational transformation.

Read more

Fresh Thinking Labs Masterclass in Lisbon

Participants from the Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme wowed Portuguese companies with their stories of transformation at the Fresh Thinking Labs Masterclass hosted by the Instituto Portugues de Business Process Management in Lisbon last week. Aimee Doole and John Richardson (Booth Welsh), and Robert Heron (East Coast Oil & Gas), spoke passionately about how the programme has created high levels of staff engagement in idea generation, improvement initiatives and innovation.

Read more

Scottish experience kick starts workplace innovation in Portugal

More than 60 Portuguese company representatives took part in an interactive workshop held in Porto earlier this month where the experiences of two Scottish businesses were used to demonstrate the beneficial outcomes of workplace innovation and employee-led change. The workshop was facilitated by Workplace Innovation Europe Limited who introduced Doug Johnston, General Manager at DS Smith’s Lockerbie operation and Dundee based David O’Byrne from animal pharmaceutical business, Argenta.

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Inclusive and devolved decision making at DS Smith

DS Smith Lockerbie believes in open, inclusive and devolved decision-making. As part of the company’s commitment to workplace innovation, morning meetings in the Operations Room were introduced to improve communication and enable joint planning and problem-solving amongst employees. Front line representatives from each work area take part in these meetings and use a series of visual management boards to record their daily discussions. Participants take turns in leading the meeting and are encouraged to keep the tone optimistic and collaborative.

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Creating Fair and Innovative Workplaces – An Industrial Strategy Perspective from Scotland

This policy-focused event identified the levers that make a difference in delivering inclusive growth and competitiveness. Senior representatives of UK government departments, companies and trade unions took advantage of an opportunity to hear about Scotland’s practical approach to supporting progressive people practices, and how it leads to enhanced productivity and the reduction of inequality. The workplace is facing unprecedented change as it faces the digital revolution as well as an increasingly volatile business environment.

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Workplace Innovation Limited helps to build a very special relationship between Scotland and the Basque Country

Workplace Innovation Limited has been supporting Scottish Enterprise and the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa in the Spanish Basque Country as each develops its own approach to promoting the uptake of workplace innovation by companies.

Read more and watch our video

Workplace Innovation facilitates an in-company Mini-FabLab session at DS Smith

DS Smith is a European leading packaging company of customer-specific packaging, based in Lockerbie, Scotland. Operations Manager David Murdoch asked Peter and Rosemary from Workplace Innovation Europe, as part of the Scottish Enterprise Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme, to help involve his staff in innovative ways to improve the business. A facilitated Mini-Fab-Lab session, with front line staff representing each area across the workforce, was a new experience for DS Smith.

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Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (WIEP), Scottish Enterprise, Workplace Innovation Limited, The Fifth Element, Scotland, Workplace InnovationThe Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme Cohort I

The programme’s objective was to help businesses across a wide spectrum of sectors identify and critically assess existing workplace practices through a specialist diagnostic tool, and to support them in uncovering new ways of working to make the best use of talent across the entire workforce. It was important to deliver an approach that was relevant and practical for all types of organisation, all types of employer and all types of employee.

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Latest News and Events

"We’ve reached a tipping point in the future of jobs 2020. The digital skills gap is asking for the development of a growth mindset!" Presented at our event Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/announcements/industry-4-0-digitalisation-and-the-people-centred-workplace). Is your company ready for the future? Learn more about our programmes (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/LWIP), download our brochure (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/PDF/WIE-Leading-Workplace-Innovation.pdf) or contact us (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/contact-us) to find out more...

The event, Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the people-centred workplace, brought an amazing international group of companies and experts together to explore how successful organisations are engaging employees in digital transformation. The key takeaway was that technological innovation and innovation in work processes need to go hand in hand: “Digitalising a bad process doesn’t make it a better process.” Participants agreed that if companies allowed machines to be in control, it would result in expensive failure. But digital technologies can be designed and deployed to enhance operator information and decision making, creating optimal synergies with human skills and ingenuity. Event hosts Booth Welsh (https://boothwelsh.co.uk/), a leading provider of integrated engineering services, have been through a remarkable transformation themselves as part of our Scottish Enterprise Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme (http://www.workplaceinnovatio..

The event 'The Journey towards Self-Directed Teamworking' was hosted by Cornerstone (https://www.cornerstone.org.uk/) and CEO Edel Harris, Strategy Implementation Leader Mairi Martin and several members of their frontline teams presented one of the best examples of the journey towards self-managed teamworking that we’ve heard in 25 years! Participants from five other companies on similar journeys took part in this latest Fresh Thinking Labs (freshthinkinglabs.com) event, gaining unique insights into organisational transformation. Cornerstone has developed an ambitious new Strategic Plan for 2017-2020 called ‘Local Cornerstone’, designed to position Cornerstone for continued success and a sustainable future. Creating this new model of care focusses on the introduction of self-organised teams, together with a flattened hierarchy. The journey has involved building trust and empowerment, as well as the devolution of responsibility and local decision making. Polici..

Participants from the Workplace Innovation Engagement Programme wowed Portuguese companies with their stories of transformation at the Fresh Thinking Labs Masterclass hosted by the Instituto Portugues de Business Process Management in Lisbon last week. Aimee Doole and John Richardson (Booth Welsh), and Robert Heron (East Coast Oil & Gas), spoke passionately about how the programme has created high levels of staff engagement in idea generation, improvement initiatives and innovation. They talked about how the Workplace Diagnostic (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/LWIP-The-Workplace-Innovation-Diagnostic) had brought home the nature and scale of the challenge to their senior teams, and how it had focused attention on the introduction of new working practices in specific areas of each business. Workshops held throughout the 10 month programme inspired participants with leading examples from across Europe, and action learning provided valuable peer-to-peer opportunitie..