It is really interesting to see how often wellbeing@work is mentionned as a key driver of an organization’s success together with a clear strategy supported by a sustainable HR policy, a strong and dedicated leadership team and an ability to adapt to our fast changing environment.

Recent articles and reports are now trying to prove how wellbeing@work is really impacting the performance of workers and companies. Let’s be honest, the exercise is not a simple equation as it is difficult to know exactly which results can be linked with the environment of work and which one are linked to the strategy and its execution. But there is a common agreement on the fact that wellbeing@work is a key topic to consider to optimize the quality of the work environment and therefore the results of the team, the engagement of employees and the image of the company.

That being said, a couple of authors and searchers are now looking more deeply to identify correlation between employees wellbeing and business performance.

As an example, the last report published in 2017 by Soma Analytics Mental Health and Wellbeing: FTSE 100 Report 2017 show that “Companies that address employee mental health and wellbeing in their 2016 annual reports enjoyed up to three times more profit”.

To build there reports, as per Soma’s presentation, they used the following methodology: “Soma’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: FTSE 100 Report 2017 is based on a semantic analysis of all the annual reports published by FTSE 100 companies in the last year. More than 20,000 pages of corporate reporting were scanned for references to employee mental health and wellbeing. Results were clustered by company size, revenue and industry as well as by Glassdoor rating. A statistical analysis of variance between mental health and wellbeing count and company profitability was also undertaken.”

Of course it is possible to say that looking at the financial reports of a company in order to compare the fact that it mention employee mental health and wellbeing and to looks at their financial results is only covering part of the question but we can already learn a lot from this methodology.

We also know that the correlations between employee’s wellbeing and performance is not only purely financial and a Gallup article from Jennifer Robison explains that even a small shift in employee’s wellbeing can impact the following:

  • a better score in employee survey on wellbeing at work can be linked with a reduced rate of absenteism
  • it is also linked with a reduced turnover
  • teamwork productivity that is also impacted by turnover and absenteism can therefore also improve
  • knowledge sharing is generally facilitated by the positive dynamic of the organization

In addition of these aspects that show that wellbeing@work impacts different aspects of performance, a litterature review from the recognized European Agency for Safety and Health at Work published in 2013 conclude that wellbeing actually “needs to ensure that workers remain safe, healthy and satisfied when at work” and goes beyond the general financial performance.

In their book “Well-being: Productivity and Happiness at Work”, Ivan Robertson and Cary Cooper also describe that an higher level of Psychological Well Being (PWB) is also linked to better performance in the professional and personal life.

To conclude this article, we can observe that the litterature available on wellbeing@work teach us that even though there is a correlation between wellbeing and performance, this has to be understood in regards of the different types of performance, financial but also the Human performance linked to the decrease of the absenteism, of the turnover and the increase in the engagement of the employees as well as the team dynamic.

Therefore it is important for companies to support wellbeing@work, considering the global impact it can have on performance and not just looking at the financial investment it represents.

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