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Will innovation save the Polish economy from the crisis?

For as many as 70% of specialists and managers, the company's innovation is important. Its development is one of the key challenges faced by most companies, regardless of their size, industry and form of business. Additionally, it is a key selection criterion regardless of gender, indicated by 69% of women and 73% of men. 

Innovative actions are to improve the competitiveness of specific enterprises, which may have an impact on the economic development of regions or even countries. They are used in every area of the economy. On the one hand, searching for and using them is very risky and unpredictable, but on the other hand, it is also an opportunity for the company to maintain or even strengthen its market position. Antal and Sodexo Polska prepared the report "Innovative work environment", which was carried out using the CAWI method on a sample of 1,016 specialists and managers on September 8-18, 2022. The patrons of the report are Employers of the Republic of Poland and SPCC

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Almost everyone wants innovation - only a few get it 

When it comes to choosing a workplace, innovation is most appreciated by the senior management (84%). It is also crucial for 77% of engineers and people working in marketing. Lawyers (56%) and administration (60%) pay the least attention to innovation. 

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Meanwhile, only 4 out of 10 respondents consider the current workplace to be innovative, and only one in ten is completely convinced of it. A similar percentage of respondents describes their current company as non-innovative. 

These data indicate that Polish companies have something to work on in the context of innovation. According to the latest edition of the Global Innovation Index 2022 prepared by WIPO, Switzerland has been hailed as the most innovative economy in the world. Poland was placed 38th with a score of 37.5 points. Compared to the 2021 edition, we have fallen by two positions. The participants of the Polish labor market and observers should strive to ensure that the innovation index has a constant upward trend. In this area, cooperation between business, scientific and political decision-makers is necessary - comments Małgorzata Bachner Regional Operations Manager, Sodexo Polska. 

Some companies are at an early stage of innovative transformation - they are looking for ways to increase innovation and prioritize them, but the way employees perceive them is still a long way. At the same time, innovations still have a low priority for the employer, according to as many as 30% of the respondents. In most organizations where the respondents work, innovation has a high priority - very high for 12%, rather high for 32%. 

As many as 56% of employees confirm that they feel that they have permission to make mistakes in their workplace. A sense of security in this regard is very important if we want to try to change reality. In my opinion, Polish employers are ready to accept these errors and to invest in fewer resources, in projects with a low probability of success. We were not wealthy as an economy, we could not afford a high risk of failure, but with the development and maturation of the market, I assume that it will continue to change - comments Roman Zabłocki, Business Unit Director Antal, Engineering & Operations. 

Automations and new solutions - how do companies invest in innovation? 

Most companies (30%) support innovation through investments in the implementation of new solutions, automation of simple processes and technologies facilitating communication. ¼ offers solutions supporting distance cooperation and the same number of companies reward innovative ideas and thinking. Another important factor stimulating innovation, according to the respondents, is the workplace. The respondents consider companies' investments in modern work space (15%) and offering solutions stimulating cooperation in the workplace (12%) to be an important manifestation of supporting innovation. 

Employees know that advanced technologies create new opportunities. In Poland, the potential for innovation and entrepreneurship is still undeveloped. It requires support in the form of systemic solutions, such as investments in education and higher education, expansion of research centers, creation of an appropriate legal framework for innovation and increasing financial outlays to support research and development activities of enterprises. On the other hand, companies in Poland can largely independently influence the development of innovation potential, primarily by investing in employees and creating appropriate conditions for them to develop and generate innovation in the workplace - comments Marta Stańczak, CEO of Corporate Segment, Sodexo Polska. 

Almost every second company does not take into account the well-being of employees 

At a time when more and more is said about employee wellbeing, it turns out that as many as 40% of companies do not support such solutions. Every 5th company gives the opportunity to participate in courses and webinars in the context of self-care, sports activities or employees choose a flexible work model (remote, hybrid, stationary). 15% of companies offer solutions that improve comfort in the workplace or meals or lunch cards. Every tenth respondent mentions that the company offers consultations with a psychologist, coach support or additional days off. 

In a situation where employers constantly need new employees and the disproportions between the remuneration offered are not so significant, non-wage factors play an increasingly important role. Wellbeing and the facilities behind it are more and more often attracting top talents. The once key benefits that could keep an employee or attract a new employee, such as: private medical care, sports package or life insurance, are quite pale in comparison to solutions improving the comfort of work offered by desired employers. The benefits that employees would like to receive are additional bonuses and bonuses, flexible working hours, the possibility of remote work or additional vacation days - comments Marieta Brzykcy, Team Leader Antal, Engineering & Operations. 


About the report 

The Antal and Sodexo study "Innovative work environment" was carried out using the CAWI method on a sample of 1,016 specialists and managers in September 8-18, 2022. The patrons of the report are Employers of the Republic of Poland and SPCC. 

Download report: https://en.antal.pl/insights/report/innovative-working-environment

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