European Company Survey 2013

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Ticked CheckboxIn the midst of Europe’s greatest recession, 40% of all EU companies have difficulties finding workers with the right skills. For innovative companies, this is even more challenging.

This emerges from Eurofound’s third European Company Survey (ECS) which provides a snapshot of human resource management practices, employee participation and social dialogue at the workplace, and performance and innovation.

In some countries, both social partnership is strong and a high level of social dialogue is taking place, and there is also extensive innovation in work organization. In-depth analysis will explore whether and how these phenomena are linked in differing national settings, sectors of activity and company types.

These are the key findings from the survey results:

  • Despite the recession, almost 40% of companies reported difficulty in finding staff with the right skills. For innovative companies, it is even more of a problem.
  • Variable pay is widespread, found in 63% of establishments surveyed.
  • Over a third of companies in Europe have introduced innovation measures and report that their financial situation has improved.
  • In 68% of establishments, staff monitor external ideas and technological developments for new products, services and processes, and, in 62%, employees document good practice or lessons learned so that these may be shared with colleagues.
  • One-in-seven establishments report high levels of sick leave, and the problem is more common in large companies and those where the financial situation is rated as bad or very bad.
  • In establishments with a formal employee representation, nine out of ten employee representatives report that they are informed by management about the financial and employment situation.
  • The survey also shows that there are countries with a high incidence of both innovative work organization practices and social dialogue structures.

The survey maps practices in establishments with 10 or more employees across the EU28 with regard to work organization, human resource (HR) practices, employee participation and social dialogue, and how these practices support ‘smart growth’.

The fieldwork for the third ECS was carried out in the spring of 2013, involving senior decision-makers responsible for staff and employee representatives in 30,000 companies in 32 countries.

Download the full report here.