Empowering employee wellbeing in the new world of work

Achievers Workforce Institute identifies how organisations can understand wellbeing and drive wellness success.
By: | May 31, 2022

Stress and wellbeing are having a direct impact on organisational results and need to be top of mind for HR and business leaders, said Dr Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Workforce Scientist, Achievers Workforce Institute (AWI).

Writing in AWI’s Empowering employee wellbeing in the new world of work report, she added, “Organisations that support employee wellbeing report higher levels of engagement, with employees more likely to report physically and mentally healthy. In addition, employees who say their employer is supportive for their wellbeing are three times more likely to say they are enthusiastic about their job and that they would recommend their company as a great place to work.”

Created to help organisations understand the core issues of wellbeing and identify specific ways in which to drive action wellbeing success, the AWI report highlights how most employees are not feeling a strong sense of wellbeing.

Just one in five employees feel a strong sense of physical and mental wellbeing, and even fewer (14%) say their workplace supports their wellbeing. Engagement, belonging, productivity, and absenteeism are impacted because of a lack of widespread wellbeing, AWI cautioned.

There is also an existing HR-employee disconnect, where employees are only half as likely as HR leaders to say their company supports employee wellbeing. More work needs to be done to collectively shift employee perceptions and employee experience to improve the impact and reach of wellbeing initiatives.

Organisations also need to be cognisant that a lack of wellbeing can drive turnover, AWI cautioned. Employees who say their employer does not support their wellbeing are twice as likely to say they regularly think about looking for a job elsewhere. Organisations that are focused on employee wellbeing and are successful in bridging the gap between HR and employees are likely to improve retention.

To unlock wellbeing, AWI encouraged organisations to exercise frequent recognition. Employees who say they receive weekly meaningful recognition are twice as likely to report a high level of physical and mental wellbeing and are twice as likely to say they feel capable of managing their stress at work. Organisations with a recognition platform also outperform those without a formal programme when it comes to wellbeing outcomes.

READ: Creating a more engaged workforce through reward and recognition

AWI also found that the five pillars of belonging – feeling welcomed, known, included, supported, and connected – correlate positively with feelings of wellbeing. According to employees, the top three drivers of wellbeing at work are, feeling included, accepted, and valued at work; being warmly welcomed and made to feel part of the team; and having a supportive manager.

To enhance feelings of support among employees, AWI recommended organisations to invest in wellbeing and communicate widely about wellbeing programmes.  They should also educate people leaders and create networks for peer support.

Click here for the full report and find out how you can improve wellbeing at work for your employees to drive better business results.