What is employee well-being? What does it actually mean for organisations?
We are all aware of how current economic conditions have affected our workplaces. We also realise that as a result of our changing surroundings – employees and management are behaving differently. Feeling good about the work we complete has a massive impact on quality and performance. We know this due to the research that has been completed but more significantly we know this from personal experience. Ever been unhappy in a role? Ever felt not appreciated by your peers or manager? What effect did your emotions have on your work? Did you give it your best all the time? I think you get the idea!
So, how in practical times can we use this experience to ensure our own employees do not feel like this and enjoy a healthy environment? Peter Warr, in his book ‘Psychology at Work’ outlines 9 main groups to examine.
1. Opportunity for personal control
Do employees have autonomy? This does not have to be total but could be a small amount for a particular work activity. How much discretion have employees? What role do they have in decision making?
2. Opportunity for skills use
Are employees skills actually being used? Are they valued for the skills they have?
3. Externally generated goals
Do employees understand the demands of the job, the task? Are there measures in place for workloads? What responsibility do they have? Have targets been set?
Is there a possible means of varying role? How repetitive are the tasks completed? Is there variety of location?
5. Environmental clarity
Have the consequences of certain behaviours been provided? Is there job security? Is there information about the required behaviours and their role within the organisation or team?
6. Availability of money
Have you benchmarked pay? What competition is there? What level of income does pay place employees on?
7. Physical Security
Have you Health and Safety procedures in place? Is there good working conditions? What temperature is the office? How much noise is present? Do employees have adequate equipment?
8. Opportunity for interpersonal contact
How much interaction do employees have each day? Is there adequate provision for privacy if required? Do employees have good relationships? Is there social support? Good communications?
9. Valued social position
What status do employees have? How much emphasis is placed on job importance? Are the jobs that employees do meaningful? Do employee have self-respect?
When talking about employee well-being it is important to distinguish between job-related feelings and non-job but there is so much that managers can take into consideration in order to ensure employee satisfaction and well-being. The associations between employee well-being and performance are incredibly significant. Enthusiasm, alertness, attention, interest, determination and inspiration are all impacted. We simply cannot ignore them, we must take note and apply this knowledge to the environment we create for our employees.