“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

There is plenty of evidence to support this quote from Richard Branson. [I]

For example, when you take a look at the winners of The Sunday Times Best companies to work for, you will see there is a correlation between employee wellbeing and a successful business. Wellbeing initiatives such as gym membership, massage, physio, health insurance, yoga, free fruit and healthy snacks are often amongst the list of these companies’ wellbeing benefits. The winners of this award [ii] actively promote physical and mental wellbeing and recognise the correlation between employee engagement and a thriving business.

The concept of employee engagement has been gathering momentum over the last decade, and employee wellbeing is an integral part of this:

“Evidence suggests that employee engagement has a positive and significant effect on organisations, and that managers are pivotal to engagement and well-being.”[iii]

“An engaged workforce is more motivated and productive because people take pride in what they are doing and have faith in those around them. This leads to better working relationships, greater collaboration and ultimately a more successful organisation.” [iv] No surprise, therefore, that employee engagement is fast becoming a top priority for businesses.

Both ACAS and the CIPD support and encourage this approach. They provide valuable resources and practical advice on various aspects of employee engagement. The CIPD also sponsor the charity Engage for Success a voluntary UK organisation promoting employee engagement as a better way to work. As an assessment tool, The Best Companies uses verified procedures to assess ‘The 8 factors of workplace engagement’ within an organisation. The abundance of information and advice available is positive.

ACAS recognises “…people are key. Get it wrong and you may be faced with low morale, poor levels of motivation and higher levels of absence. And you will often be lacking that creative spark – particularly when it comes to interacting with your customers”[v]

Yet get it right and the rewards include motivated and more productive employees who genuinely want to do well at their job – thus boosting productivity and improving staff retention.

Encouragingly, this concept can work for all businesses, irrespective of demographics, employee age or gender. Bill Alexander, CEO of Red Letter Days for Business, said, ‘The research shows it doesn’t matter what company you work for, where you are in the country, your age or gender, even your line manager’s age or gender – the engagement results for these factors were more or less the same…… This strongly highlights that any business can get on the road to solving engagement issues”.[vi]

His advice: “Look after your staff and they’ll look after everything else” might be a true yet somewhat simplistic view; however, I’m sure you’ll agree:

“Every organisation’s success is built on its people. Get the people bit right and you are likely to have motivated, productive staff and a more successful business.”[vii]


[i] https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/look-after-your-staff

[ii] https://www.b.co.uk/the-lists/

[iii] https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/engagement/management-guide

[iv] https://www.b.co.uk/what-is-engagement

[v] http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2701

[vi] http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5394

[vii] http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2701

Additional resources and links



Engage for Success

The Best Companies