Why is organizational well-being important?
Forget for a second that companies are about profits, balance sheets and future plans. We think about that who affords this work. Many people spend one third of their life on job places and put their energy and power in tasks and process to keep and company running. Surely no one is surprised that there are many workplaces where there is not a shred of understanding that a degree of self-determination could help employees to carry out their tasks with more ease and satisfaction. The study situation is clear: Taking care of the well-being of your employees pays off in many cases. Increased productivity and creativity, as well as immense cost savings: these are just some of the benefits of a high level of employee health and organizational well-being.
How can the well-being of employees be increased at all?
In psychology, the PATH model exists after the following practices improve Employee Well-Being and beyond that the company itself.
- Work-Life Balance
If the employer understands that an employee has a life outside work and gives him space for it, especially through flexible working hours and the possibility to work from home, this binds the employee strongly to the company and shows him great respect.
- Personal Development
Anything that trains the employee, whether it is about his tasks, leadership or a more general education, shows him that the company is interested in his skills and is willing to invest in him.
- Health and Safety
Prevention, analysis and treatment of physical and mental problems of employees are worth their weight in gold. An employee who does more exercise, eats better, quits smoking, receives treatment for an anxiety disorder or is simply informed about drugs, stress or safety measures as a result of such measures will reward the company with fewer days off work and higher productivity.
Showing that you reward your employees for their performance motivates them to get more out of themselves. Whether it’s higher salaries or bonus payments, symbolic honors and awards or public recognition, each of these gestures will have a positive effect.
- Autonomy of the employees
Involving workers in decision-making gives them a sense of respect and responsibility, forcing them to tackle organizational problems with their individual skills. The more employees are able to get involved, the less they have the feeling that they are undergoing stupid occupational therapy and consequently show more motivation and creativity.
My employees are fine, what more do they want?
This attitude is widespread in companies. Almost all employees (92% of those surveyed) state that it is very important to them that a company takes care of their well-being. Even though employers agree with them (98%), they admit that not enough is being done (59%).
What is most important to the employees?
When it comes to improving the well-being of employees, there are many options – the main one being that employees are allowed to decide for themselves when and where they perform their work (76% of respondents). A company gym, an integrated kindergarten or a healthy meal plan are also important, but are not the main focus.
And why are you doing too little for that?
Only 19% of employers believe that employees would resign if they did not do enough for their well-being at work. This underestimates how important these programs are to employees, as 54% would look for other jobs, 48% would miss work more often and 43% would put less effort into their work. It is obvious that this results in considerable costs and loss of productivity for the company.
How do these programs benefit the company?
Depending on which programs are implemented, every euro pays off three to five times over, because sickness-related absences fall by 25.3%, self-reported creativity rises from 20% to 72% and the proportion of committed employees improves from 7% to 55%. It is therefore a financial mistake not to invest in these programs, which either create a more flexible and independent working environment or offer a healthier diet, more sports and sustainable lifestyles. It should also not be forgotten that as a company you become very attractive to new applicants if you have a lot to offer. So the basic rule is: healthy employees, healthy company.
What is the next step?
It would be easy to give the HR department some money and ask them to do a few workshops on the topic or send the employees to a few seminars. Even if these measures are proven to work, it is not a long-term plan. To achieve a lasting positive effect, it is necessary to integrate these programs into the structure of the company itself. If a manager cannot afford the time to monitor this program, it can be an effective alternative to entrust it to the employees who are most enthusiastic about it and give them some decision-making power.
What are the obstacles to carrying out these practices?
If you are motivated enough by the many benefits of these programs to implement them, it is important to plan what you should implement in the first place. So why not ask your employees if they are more interested in more flexible working hours and home office or in a healthier and higher quality menu? According to this priority list, new measures can then be implemented one by one. Another problem arises, especially in large companies, when you offer all kinds of things but nobody knows about them. It may be necessary to go beyond the entry on the intranet and the poster on the wall and get everyone together and tell them personally what new options are available to them.
This article in a nutshell
. Organizational well-being programs are extremely important for the employees health.
. Employees like to underestimate this and admit – according to statistics – that too little is done for Employee Well-Being.
. Investments in the well-being of the employees pay off: Every Euro pays off three to five times over.
. This payout is achieved by, for example, a decrease in sick days and more.
. What can you do? Find out from your employees what is important to them and implement these aspects into your corporate culture.
. The motto of the future is therefore: healthy employees as a success factor!
You want to make meditation and mindfulness accessible to your employees? Then take a look at Mindfulif’s offer for companies.
Comcare (2014, 20 March), Benefits to business: the evidence for investing in worker health and wellbeing. https://www.comcare.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/99303/Benefits_to_business_the_evidence_for_investing_in_worker_health_and_wellbeing_PDF,_89.4_KB.pdf
Grawitch, Matthew & Gottschalk, Melanie & Munz, David. (2006). The path to a healthy workplace: A critical review linking healthy workplace practices, employee well-being, and organizational improvements. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. 58. 129-147. 10.1037/1065-92184.108.40.206.
Robert Walters. (n.d.) The value of promoting employee health and wellbeing. https://www.robertwalters.com/content/dam/robert-walters/corporate/news-and-pr/files/whitepapers/health-and-wellbeing-whitepaper-aus.pdf