Solving any underlying communication issues could provide UK companies with the impetus needed to grow significantly faster than their competitors on the continent, according to Microsoft.

The tech giant recently teamed up with the London Business School to ascertain predicted growth rates of UK companies – and how they could be improved.

When comparing innovative firms across the EU, Microsoft discovered that UK businesses were 13% more likely than their continental competitors to enjoy double-digit growth over the coming five years. However, there are barriers which could stop this from happening – with communication being a key influencer.

Microsoft discovered that 40% of British firms encounter some communication issues when trying to implement changes to their businesses; making it the third biggest barrier for British firms, behind only technological support and the perception that change is not required.

However, it seems these communication issues need to be solved to achieve growth, as it helps drive business-critical innovations. In the same study, Microsoft found that firms across Europe which encouraged innovation reported being twice as likely to anticipate growth over the coming years. In Britain the difference was starker still – with innovative firms more than three times as likely to expect imminent growth.

Communication isn’t just about talking to one another, of course, but goes into the whole fabric of how a company operates. Facilitating collaboration and empowering teams are just two ways Microsoft says businesses can encourage innovation and drive effective communication. Whilst business owners may see this as something of a challenge, they risk losing any opportunity to grow by not trying.

President of Microsoft Western Europe, Vahé Torossian, said: “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.”