EESC:Opinion on Innovative workplaces

2011 –  On the 15th of March 2011 theEuropean Economic and Social Committee adopted the following opinion on ‘Innovative workplaces as a source of productivity and quality jobs’.

This opinion has the following paragraphs:

  1. Recommendations
  2. Innovative workplaces – their importance for economic growth, sustainable productivity and quality jobs
  3. New elements of growth and changes in work culture
  4. Innovative workplaces

In the Appendices: I. Definitions,  II. a diagram on technological and non-technological/social innovation and III. a scheme on Innovation ability and succes of organisations.

Below a summary of the recommendations.

1. The Committee believes that it is the European Union’s task to support all Member States and companies in their efforts to increase workplace innovation.
2. The EESC recommends that the basic concept of the “innovative workplace" be clearly defined.
3. The “innovative workplace" concept should be incorporated into the Europe 2020 strategy.
4. The Commission should launch a pilot project on innovative workplaces as part of the “Innovation Union" flagship initiative and a European index should be introduced describing the quality of working life and its effects on innovativeness and productivity.
5. The Commission should examine all its funding instruments and make the necessary adjustments to them as soon as possible, in order to stimulate that innovation policy concentrate more on how the different partners can work together more effectively.
6. The Commission and the Member States should reflect seriously on what kinds of policies and work organisation have been effective in enhancing innovativeness through investment in skills. Furthermore the Commission should support research and the dissemination of research findings and evaluate existing innovation strategies to make sure that a definition of workplace innovation is included in all of them.
7. Public procurement plays an important illustrative and guiding role in stimulating competition between companies based on the quality of products and services and environment-friendliness, not just on prices.
8. The social partners bear a major responsibility in this regard for preparing, implementing and evaluating projects. The role of civil society organisations in organising training and presenting best practices must be strengthened.
9. The Commission should provide opportunities and facilities for new capacity-building (e.g. through best practice and mutual learning projects) for those countries that do not yet have much experience with innovation generation in companies and organisations.
10. The EESC’s task is to promote, in its texts and in EU policy documents more generally, the mainstreaming of innovation, in particular by presenting its views on innovation policy in its opinions on economic, employment and innovation policy issues, and by using its close contacts with the economic and social councils of the Member States.

SC/034; Innovative workplaces. Opinionof the European Economic and Social Committee on Innovative workplaces as a source of productivity and quality jobs. Rapporteurs:Leila Kurki, Mihai Manoliu. The document is attached.
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