Workplace innovation supports implementation of European Pillar of Social Rights
2020 – In a contribution in the European Journal of Workplace innovation Frank Pot, Peter Totterdill and Steven Dhondt argue that the implementation of the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ can be supported by Workplace innovation.
The European Pillar of Social Rights
The European Pillar of Social Rights contains 20 principles on the following fields: 1) Equal rights to enter the labour market, 2) Decent employment conditions and 3) Social protection and inclusion.
Summary of the article
The authors state that there is a mutual relationship between the quality of work and innovation and between the quality of work and productivity. Whether this relationship leads to positive developments is highly dependent on the management strategy pursued and of employee participation. The results are generally better with “participation and trust -" than with “command and control-" regimes.
Individual changes are often less beneficial for employees and the organization than an optimization of changes in work organization, technology and employment relations. This simultaneous optimization in combination with a participation and trust regime is called ‘Workplace innovation’ and that concept was included in the EU2020 strategy in October 2012. The European Commission funded the European Workplace Innovation Network (EUWIN) from 2013 until 2017.
The Workplace innovation concept integrates (parts of) the agendas for innovation, digitization, productivity, quality of work, lifelong learning, well-being at work, craftsmanship and social dialogue (employee participation). EUWIN activities have led to successes in several countries and in many organizations. But continued attention is needed, as is expansion to other countries.
The market mechanism does not automatically lead to an economy with good jobs, nor to an upward synergy of the said elements. The European Commission should continue to support Workplace innovation. Dissemination of the concepts and good examples, capacity and research remain necessary. The EUWIN partners promise to do the same in their own countries and to continue international cooperation.
Within the EU, there has been support for Workplace innovation since 1997, as evidenced by the then published Green paper “Partnership for a new organization of work". And recently the conclusions of the evaluation of the Europe 2020 Strategy noted: “The employment strategy was rather successful but cannot encompass all the aspects of the changing workplace in which the quality of jobs matters as much as their availability. In the future, greater attention should be given to the quality of work “. (European Commission, 2019b)
Organizations, public and private, will have to change because a lot is coming their way, not only globalization and digitization but also an energy transition, demographic developments and coping with the consequences of the corona crisis. Governments at different levels should develop programs to stimulate and facilitate change. The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out the values and goals for such programs. Workplace innovation can play a key role in the implementation of those programs leading to better jobs and better economic performance.
Frank Pot, Peter Totterdill, Steven Dhondt: ‘Workplace innovation supports implementation of European Pillar of Social Rights.’ In: European Journal of Workplace Innovation. Volume 5, number 2, June 2020, p. 173 – 185.
Theme: Workplace innovation