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.

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the essential fifth element



The Essential Fifth Element is Workplace Innovation’s practical programme of support for building high performance and high levels of engagement. It draws on all the research evidence embodied in The Fifth Element, conceived by Peter Totterdill and Rosemary Exton as a means of building a bridge between theory and practice in workplace innovation.

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The Essential Fifth Element is an integrated approach to workplace innovation, creating high performance, engagement and great places to work. It builds workplaces where people at all levels can use their knowledge, talent and creativity to the full.

It starts with the organisation as a whole, recognising that practices and cultures in one area inevitably have an impact on other areas.

The Essential Fifth Element brings together individual job design, teamworking, relations between different teams and department, systems and procedures such as performance management, opportunities for shared learning, improvement and innovation, how employee voice is heard in strategic decision making, and the role of leadership.

It draws on day-to-day experiences of the workplace, recognising that the stories people tell each other about their working lives can represent a fantastic, if often untapped, resource for improvement and innovation.

It also recognises that there is often a discrepancy between the ways in which senior managers see their organisations and the ways they are experienced by frontline employees.

Finally The Essential Fifth Element inspires, drawing on experiences and practices from some of the most exciting organisations in Europe to stimulate new ways of looking at workplaces and organisations, raising aspirations about what can be achieved.

It is The Essential Fifth Element. Talk to us at [email protected] about how The Essential Fifth Element can transform performance and engagement in your organisation.

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Knowledge
& Networks

We are a not-for-profit organisation collaborating with public and private sector enterprises, trade unions, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders to explore the future of work and organisations and to share good practice in the workplace.

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Working with you

Workplace Innovation helps enterprises and their employees to improve organisational performance and working lives by releasing the full knowledge, skill and creativity of people at every level.

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Workplace Innovation is an international company that bridges the gap between research and practice, spreading more productive and better ways of working across the UK and Europe.

We are the originators of The Fifth Element, an evidence based approach to workplace innovation and how it can transform your organisation.

Latest News and Events

In 2016, Scotland’s Fair Work Convention (http://www.fairworkconvention.scot/) 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 (https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/) 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) (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/Workplace-Innovation-Engagement-Programme), delivered by Workplace Innovation Europe CLG (http://www.workplaceinnovation.eu/). What is workplace innovation? As 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 a..

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..