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How employee wellbeing affects workplace performance and how to improve it

Mindfulness on paper

Perkbox.co.uk specialise in helping employees keep their staff happy by providing ‘perks’ such as discounts on global brands, fitness memberships, cinema tickets, restaurants, financial services and even therapy. The idea behind it is that making your employees feel appreciated and rewarding them for their good work keeps them motivated and productive.

And Perk Box aren’t the only company catering to this growing trend of spoiling employees rotten to promote their productivity and engagement.

This is due to an increasing awareness that employee wellbeing is a conscious and profitable business decision.

So, what exactly is ‘employee wellbeing’ and how do you measure it?

Employee wellbeing is a combination of physical and mental health, along with the positive social and cultural attitudes that contribute to the workplace environment.

Great Place to Work conduct annual employee surveys and workplace cultural studies with over 6,600 organisations worldwide with over 12 million employees. Their research focuses on measuring the following factors which contribute to an individuals’ wellbeing at work:

  • values and ethics
  • teamwork
  • work and environment processes
  • recognition
  • job satisfaction

Things like attitude and support concerning maternity leave, work social events, financial support and pension schemes, holidays, rewarding good work and positive relationships with management all contribute to good employee wellbeing.

How does it affect workplace performance?

A recent government study found that there is significant evidence that workplace wellbeing and job performance are directly correlated. Benefits include:

  • Greater levels of energy, leading to higher output and fewer sick days
  • Increased creativity and problem-solving
  • Increased motivation and attitude to work

To highlight the financial impacts this can have on a company, take a look at Pret a Manger as an example. Last year the sandwich chain reported a 16 percent sales increase in their annual figures, and the Chief Executive, Clive Schlee, puts this down to the happiness of his workforce.

“The staff are given a bonus – paid to everyone in their branch – if a weekly secret shopper spots positive and happy staff behind the counter,” reports the Telegraph.

Google take a similar approach, giving their employees free lifts to work, dry cleaning, meals, haircuts and the opportunity to spend 20 per cent of their time on a non-work project.

In 2014 revenues increased by an average of 22.2 percent for the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the Great Place to Work survey, and these companies reported adding new employees at a rate five times higher than the national average.

It just goes to show that investing in people really does work, and we can all benefit from this growing focus on treating employees in this way.

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