Employers should continue to create a valued, diverse and involved workforce to keep the EU ahead of its global rivals, employment minister Gerry Sutcliffe told a conference in London today.
At the High Performance Workplace conference, representatives from European business, trade unions and governments considered how European employers could improve their world position through better management, leadership and communication with staff.
Benefits include improved morale, retention of skilled staff and less absenteeism, which all contribute to improved worker satisfaction and increased productivity, said Sutcliffe.
"As the holders of the current European presidency, the UK wants to ensure that European business continues to create a sense of vision, motivates people and develops new ways of working," he said.
"If we can maximise potential in the workplace, Europe will position itself at the forefront of an increasingly competitive global economy.
European employment commissioner Vladimir Spidla said: "For the European Union, the availability of quality jobs is the key for achieving productivity growth and higher participation in work simultaneously.
"A highly motivated workforce is a competitive strength. Quality jobs are not just a luxury."
Sutcliffe will also launch a DTI-commissioned report on the characteristics of a high performance workplace, based on a comprehensive survey of almost 3,000 UK businesses.
The report shows that high-performance firms outperform others by £1,600 per worker each year.