Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Workplace Trends: Wellbeing & Performance

As usual I pulled the programme together for this year’s Workplace Trends conference. The theme for this year, the tenth annual conference, was wellbeing and Performance. I selected this theme simply because during the last year of attending conferences the subject of wellbeing was raised, but not really discussed, by the audiences and a few speakers. I was intrigued, is wellbeing genuinely a different issue to performance, or is Wellbeing simply a rebranding of the whole productivity agenda?

Not only are wellbeing, performance and productivity mentioned in the same breath but we can also add happiness, satisfaction and motivation into the mix. Nic Marks opened Workplace Trends presenting his happiness index. Nic presented research which revealed that positive emotions both a) broaden our thoughts helping us to pay more attention and be more creative and b) build psychological resources such as resilience/coping mechanisms and social skills. Both are useful attributes in the workplace and clearly happiness is a positive emotion but the link to performance is only implied and a direct causal link is not demonstrated by the research.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Quality and Motivation

I was recently asked by S&PA Professional, a bi-monthly magazine for members of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), to write 500 words on whether "the quality of the facility impacts on the motivation of staff". My response is below:

What appears to be at first glance a straightforward question suddenly becomes complicated when attempting to provide evidence for a demonstrable link between quality and motivation. This is because both variables are quite subjective and therefore can be difficult to quantify. A canter through the internet reveals that quality has many definitions but fulfilling the requirements of end-users to meet their expectations is a recurring one. In terms of facilities, quality may also refer to the standard of the environment, the accompanying (facilities management) service provided, and the robustness and longevity of products such as desks and chairs.