Going further than well-being at work
What does it mean for your company?
The direct benefits and implications
Going further than well-being at work. The direct benefits and implications for your company.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization) definition, well-being at work would be “a state of mind characterized by a satisfactory harmony between the skills, needs and aspirations of the worker on one side and, on the other, the constraints and the opportunities of the company offers “
The welfare revolution
Appearing in the Anglo-Saxon countries in the 1970s, the concept of welfare at work is now on the agenda of most companies.
It is widely accepted that psychosocial risks have tremendous negative consequences for both employees and employers.
The loss of productivity is only the tip of the iceberg when employees suffer from their working conditions.
Loss of commitment, disengagement, loss of attractiveness, bad reputation can all be disastrous consequences of poor well-being management.
of business leaders said that well-being at work would be a major concern for companies.
Malakoff Médéric, 2017
Going further than welfare
Corporate well-being strategies are mainly focused on improving working conditions through global change and social negotiation.
What is generally lacking in this perspective is the consideration of individualities and their specific needs.
So, what’s the difference between welfare and well-being at work?
The notion of well-being at work implies the development of solutions by the actors themselves, the employee being considered as an expert of his own needs. It is a bottom-up approach for which the process (involvement of all) is as important as the result.
A responsible company has every interest in associating welfare and well-being at work, because improving the well-being of employees can be a great productivity lever, and a growth accelerator for all companies, including the very small ones.
The importance of using a holistic approach
The word holistic has been used quite broadly over the past years. However if you really want to address well-being at work, there is no other choice than using a fully holistic approach.
It makes sense that psychosocial risks assessments are just a tiny fraction of what’s impacting an employee’s life. But we could say the same about physical activity, new management styles or stress management.
For one to be totally fulfilled, healthy and happy, many other things have to be taken into consideration and addressed.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to make sure your people are thriving if the whole spectrum is not acknowledged. Of course, that means being more open and able to talk about what’s still, unfortunately, seen as independent from work: family life and issues, mental health, passions, purpose, life objectives, finances, general health, environment, relationships, happiness, and more.
The essence itself of a holistic approach is to address all of what’s impacting a human being.
The benefits of such approaches are huge for companies of all size. Some are obvious and well-known, as the reduction of psychosocial risks, and some are less.
If companies want to stay competitive in the long term, in our fast-changing and uncertain economic world, it is clear they have to get informed. It is our objective to provide unbiased information based on scientific research.
You’ll find some of those benefits below. You can also download our white paper on the topic by entering your details below.
1. Reducing psychosocial risks
Welfare and well-being at work plans are primarily aimed at reducing psychosocial risks.
These psychosocial risks are defined as: “Risks to the mental, physical and social health caused by employment and organisational conditions as well as relational factors that may interact with or impact mental functioning“*.
They are spread over 6 different areas:
- Work requirements
- Emotional requirements
- Autonomy and room for initiatives
- Social relations and work relations
- Conflicts of values
- Economic and social insecurity
Any intervention that improves one or more of these dimensions reduces psychosocial risks. Greater autonomy is particularly central to most employees interviewed about their quality of life at work.
The lack of autonomy is, however, among all psychosocial risk factors, one of the few that is constantly increasing in Europe.
A corporate well-being approach will, therefore, have to address this particular issue of employee autonomy in order to be efficient.
Autonomy at work according to employees
– State of The Global Workplace, Gallup 2017
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