New Study Reveals Employees Well­being Has a Large Impact on Work Productivity

According to new data from The O.C. Tanner Institute’s Health and Well­being Study, employee well­being has a significant impact on work productivity, retention and, as a result, company bottom line. The study surveyed 2,363 employees who are working full­time in companies that had more than 500 employees and are located in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. For this study, researchers define well­being as “a measure of a person’s perception of how her life is going— whether it is fulfilling and satisfying, whether she feels her best every day, and where her life is headed in the future.” 

Results from the survey reveal that employees with poor well­being, on average, self­reported that they are only working at 64 percent of their maximum output. They also tend to be less collaborative and have negative views toward working with their teams. This less than maximum effort of this group of employees has a dramatic impact on the bottom line due to lost productivity time.

Apart from the standard benefits that impact employee well­being (i.e. fair base salary, family emergency or care leave, paid vacation time, maternity leave and paid sick leave), company culture was also indicated as a key factor. For instance, open work spaces where teams can meet and collaborate as well as employee recognition were considered important by respondents in helping to increase their well­being at work. 

The study suggests a few ways to incorporate each of the wellness elements into your company’s culture. 

Emotional. Allow employees the freedom to work the way that fits their personalities and lifestyles. This could mean allowing employees to create their own schedules, or even allowing employees to choose to work remotely. 

Social. Create social settings where employees can get to know each other like company outings, team lunches, and other activities where business need not be discussed. 

Physical. Allow employees to take an extended lunch to attend a yoga class, or invite employees to participate in office­wide health initiatives. 

Creating a workplace that prioritizes the physical, social and emotional well­being of its employees can increase productivity and happiness within your company. How are you incorpo­rating employee well­being into your company culture? Do you support the emotional, social, and physical well­being of your employees? Consider adding a few policy changes to your employee handbook and note the impact it makes on employee productivity.