In early 2017 we see the growing awareness of the impact wellbeing can have on individuals, businesses and the economy. Along with that, there is a growing interest from the investment community in wellbeing as a leading indicator of financial performance and market value. Many researches during 2016 showed that organisations with effective wellbeing programmes outperform the market because high levels of wellbeing lead to better attraction and retention of talent, lower levels of absenteeism and higher engagement levels.
Wellbeing includes people’s physical and mental health and the social/relationship aspects of their work environment. It includes factors such as how they get on with their manager and colleagues. The company culture is critical to wellbeing: a culture where people feel trusted, valued and respected will engender feelings of wellbeing. Organisations where the culture is poor are more likely to suffer lower levels of wellbeing. So, whilst wellbeing programmes are important, they will be less effective if the organisation’s culture is poor.
Wellbeing is a key driver of engagement so for many employers focusing on employees’ wellbeing is a conscious business decision. If the work/life balance isn’t right, or employees don’t feel respected, valued or that they are treated fairly, they are more likely to become demotivated, disaffected and eventually leave the organisation. To avoid that, organisations have to consider the following aspects:
- Values and ethical behavior: values and their corresponding behaviors shape an organisation’s culture. A poor cultural fit or weak values can all affect employees’ sense of belonging, job satisfaction and personal wellbeing;
- Teamwork: collaboration, as well as being good for productivity and innovation, can help break down silos, increase employees’ sense of worth and create stronger bonds between colleagues;
- Employee’s relationship with their managers: great managers can balance the technical and soft skills and build trusting relationships with their teams. Bad relationships can make life for employees difficult or even unbearable, leading to staff turnover and the inevitable impact this has on the business.
On one hand, small organisations are more likely to have this kind of emotionally and psychologically healthy environment where wellbeing can flourish. This includes the softer aspects of the workplace, such as team spirit or a sense of “family”, where employees feel valued and supported and where flatter management structures offer more scope for getting involved in decisions and projects.
On the other hand, for large organisations is quite the opposite: a hyperconnected workplace where, despite the proliferation of social and collaboration tools, employees barely know who they meet in the elevator and end up “eating with their Facebook”, and where the executives struggle to spread a culture of shared values and to keep the workforce engaged. Moreover, since ESNs or other collaboration/social tools are part of the problem rather than the solution, what is really needed to foster wellbeing is real human contact.
HR managers should be able to organise frequent events with a small number of attendees: for example, breakfasts before work between the CEO and the employees. This is the best way to foster the creation of new links and good relationships, but, managing something like this would be a nightmare when hundreds of employees are involved and is hard to reach high level of the engagement by using the usual pull-communication.
This article has been taken from the original publication from Woobe Blogs