New research undertaken by the software giant Microsoft suggests that by solving communication issues, UK-based companies can grow far faster than rival firms located in Europe.
The research project, involving a collaboration between Microsoft and the London Business School, consisted of an extensive survey of around 9,000 managers and employees from over 15 countries across Europe. The results uncovered that the UK’s innovative enterprises are up to 13% more likely to forecast growth in double figures than innovative firms in other parts of Europe over the next five years.
Throughout the continent, enterprises encouraging innovation are over twice as likely to show rapid growth as companies that do not. This suggests that creating a culture that allows employees to experiment and test new ideas is a highly beneficial business practice. This notable difference is amplified further in the UK, with firms that support innovation close to three times more likely to predict high growth in future years.
Overcoming the communication breakdown
There are stumbling blocks for the UK in terms of change and innovation however, in some cases more so than in other European countries. When attempting to implement change, UK-based companies are 40% more likely to have communication difficulties. This is the third largest obstacle for change within the UK, only superseded by the belief that change is not required and a shortage of technological support. Problems in communication over the remainder of Europe only ranks as the sixth biggest issue for companies to overcome.
President for Microsoft Western Europe, Vahé Torossian, stated:
“Our customers and partners across Europe tell us that keeping up with the pace of digital transformation and innovation is among their chief concerns. What they may not be considering as thoughtfully is how their workplace culture could help them innovate – or hold them back.”
“To stay a step ahead of the competition, companies from every industry are looking for new ways to improve their business, from embracing the latest technology to shifting strategy, to diversifying and developing their workforce.”
The benefits of greater collaboration
While firms across the UK must tackle their issues with communication in order to appreciate the advantages of innovation, the study also discovered that leaders in innovation throughout Europe are more active. Rather than merely encouraging conversation, leaders are making collaboration easier. Empowering both employees and teams, assisting them to keep working “in the zone” and facilitating workflow are just a few of the methods being employed by firms seeking an expected double-figure growth. The analysis also revealed that an essential element of aiding staff to work on top form was allowing them the freedom to work with greater flexibility.
If your company currently uses Microsoft technology to stay at the head of its sector, you can rely on our team at WM Reply for technological advice and support. We specialise in creating business solutions using Microsoft products like Office 365 and SharePoint for greater communication between colleagues and customers.