Recent events have encouraged us to gain clarity around the significance of our wellbeing at work. We realise that the way we feel about our lives generally definitely influences how we perform at work, and it also affects the business we work for.
I recently read a definition by the New Economics Foundation that resonated: “Wellbeing can be understood as how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole.”
Our wellbeing influences how we present ourselves at work, what we bring to our work and how we get along in the workplace. From our productivity to our progress, it affects all our actions.
According to a 2017 report by Deloitte, businesses lose £45bln a year dealing with absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover.
When we look closer at the statistics, they highlight why:
People happy at work are 20% more productive, 34% less likely to leave their roles, and 37% less likely to take sick leave.
Feeling discontent with work and job-related stress rank highly as having a huge impact on mental and physical ill-health in the UK
Organisations that rank as “happier” are 21% more profitable, have 34% lower staff turnover and 37% less sick leave (Gallup)
Happier organisations have 37% higher sales (HBR 2011) and 10% higher share returns (BITC 2013)
The benefits to both employee and employer rise in accordance with improved wellbeing at work. It’s important to see the big picture, that the benefits aren’t just personal, but can actually impact the bottom line. This informs how you frame wellbeing in a bigger sense, not just focusing on the individual.
We need to recognise that wellbeing drives performance, that it’s not just a buzzword or the latest fad focused on by human resources. Examining it and taking steps to improve it can truly change the path of your business.
Drivers of Wellbeing
Haptivate have identified the following 8 drivers of wellbeing:
- Work-life balance - having the time and energy to do fulfilling things outside of work, which helps to reduce stress
- Job security - knowing your job is safe or feeling that it’s not safe has a huge effect on mental wellbeing
- Job conditions - the environment you physically or virtually work in, expectations, and the adjustments for physical and mental health & safety
- Social capital - our social connections at work - friends, supportive colleagues, non-work related interactions, feeling you have someone to confide in or report to if your wellbeing needs are not being met at work
- Autonomy and variety - having a sense of agency, not feeling bored, both of these help us to feel effective
- Appreciation and value - when our accomplishments are recognised, our wellbeing is boosted.
- Meaning and purpose - being aware of the value of your work and how it relates to the big picture
- Competence and development - the opportunity to learn and grow through your work
Consider each of these drivers in terms of your own wellbeing at work and rate how you feel about each one on a scale of your choosing (e.g. 1 - 10 or low - high). Note if any of the drivers aren’t present for you, and which ones mean the most for your wellbeing.
What steps can you take to work on that driver? If you are low on variety, how can you find more? If it’s your work-life balance that is suffering, maybe consider what you can do less of.
These drivers provide a good framework to set out actions that will boost your wellbeing at work. Take a look and see where you may be able to focus to impact your own sense of wellbeing at work, and perhaps even the wellbeing of your team too.