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Knowledge Bank Workplace Innovation

Best practices and other information about Workplace Innovation and Smart Working

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  • Author: www.socialeinnovatiebrabant.nl
  • Publication date: 31 October 2013
  • Date added: 31 October 2013

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Rating: Saasen group, Proud of our company

Saasen group, Proud of our company

2013 - Saasen Group in Mierlo, the Netherlands is a private company for services in the field of occupational health (training and consulting). The company is characterized by its innovative nature such as linking the use of digital products and the work in practice. Contacts with customers are intensively even at shop floor level. It has 13 permanent employees and besides them over 60 freelancers.

Less vulnerable and more connection
Within the company there is an informal working atmosphere. Delegation of responsibility is not avoided. There is a lot of know-how among employees while only relatively few permanent labor contracts are closed. The Saasen Group has focused on involving staff in the company’s strategy and corporate culture by offering as much development opportunities for the individual as possible. The aim of the project was to develop an entrepreneurial culture and 'intrapreneurship' with different types of employees (permanent and flex) to increase involvement and motivation of employees in this way. It also enhances the flexibility of the organization.

Approach
The process started with a diagnosis among all employees including freelancers and self-employed people. In brainstorming sessions, staff discussed the situation of the company and its culture: ‘are we venturous enough?'. Employees also analyzed their innovative capacity (as a company and as individuals) and their motivation and commitment to the company. With these diagnoses, employees started knowledge circles with themes such as cooperation and product development. Jointly they analysed the work processes to design them in a smarter way, and they have made a planning based on digital self-scheduling. Besides they developed new smart and innovative products.
Furthermore a coaching program is designed to strengthen the 'intrapreneurship' among employees and to anchor this in the company’s structure and culture. The implementation is done via knowledge networks and e -learning. For example, employees start thinking about their talents and  their workplace and they investigate whether their talents could be better put in elsewhere in the company.

Results
Saasen Group has seen growth since they started the project in 2009 and 2010. This success was a combination of workplace innovation and more attention to marketing, the vision that cooperation is important and the explication of the environmental and social ambitions of the company. Employees are now budgeting their own activities, in consultation with management. There is more involvement with and commitment to the company. Workplace innovation has delivered creativity in work processes and thus we are working even more efficiently. In the second half of 2011/first half of 2012 the company suffered from the recession. Especially by the involvement of the staff, and thinking in opportunities, the company grows further since that period of crisis.

Preconditions
The entrepreneur must have confidence in its employees. Make sure the employees experience a safe environment in which they are allowed to make mistakes. It is an opportunity to improve.

More information
See the websites: www.saasen.nl  and  www.socialeinnovatiebrabant.nl

Themes: Flexibel organisation; Intrapreneurship; Talent development

Sector: Services

Bron: Case