How important is it for you that an organization prioritizes staff wellbeing?
This answer will of course differ for every individual, but wellbeing ultimately impacts each and every employee – no matter their place in their career.
And a business’ commitment to staff wellbeing can be shown in several different ways – for example, by permitting flexible working, curating a safe and inclusive working environment, and ensuring correct policies are implemented and followed.
However, did you know that 67% of people can’t articulate their company culture and that 71% of organizations don’t link wellbeing to performance results?
This is according to scarlettabbott’s new World Changers 2024 report, which gathers exclusive insights as people read it, rather than providing a static finding. For example, throughout the report, readers will find polls which they can vote on, meaning real-time statistics are provided.
First introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, corporate wellbeing programs look very different today than they did 80 years ago. In fact, many revolved around alcohol, with the American ‘three-martini lunch’ being a direct by-product.
But even though we’ve well and truly moved away from those days, organizations still haven’t managed to get employee wellbeing right.
So much so, that the report found that more than four in 10 employees won’t discuss their poor mental health at work for fear of discrimination.
Researching the evolution of workplace wellbeing programs when writing this report was fascinating — they actually have their root in addressing occupational alcoholism,” says Lindsay Kohler, lead behavioral scientist at scarlettabbott.
“Over time, we saw the introduction of the now-standard Employee Assistance Program. This next iteration of wellbeing is all about mental health and productivity.”
During the report, scarlettabbott spoke with Sarah Cunningham, the managing director of The World Wellbeing Movement, to discuss how wellbeing can be measured in the workplace — which Kohler believes is “next on the agenda for organizations,” while explaining that wellbeing will become a business metric — not just a ‘nice to have’.
And the data supports this, showing that contrary to popular belief, happy employees are 20% more productive. Similarly, staff happiness declines when employees don’t feel cared for, with data showing that they’re two-thirds less likely to be holistically healthy and happy than fully-satisfied employees.
And there’s still more good news to come: scarlettabbott predicts that the current focus on workplace wellbeing is set to continue well into the future, with organizations offering perks and benefits that promote positive change.
But what impact does company culture play?
Company cultures, communication, and communities
How important really is company culture? Well, scarlettabbott’s research found that 33% of organizations that nurtured high-performing talent while retaining top-performing staff saw an increase in revenue.
What’s more, when employees feel that leadership teams have access to the tools needed to navigate change, they’re five times more likely to feel a sense of community, six times more likely to thrive at work, and ten times more likely to have a strong sense of trust. 76 per cent also believe that burnout is reduced.
It’s really about getting under the skin of your company culture,” Kohler explains. “So many leaders turn to ‘evolving culture’ as a cure-all for larger problems, but the question they forget to ask is ‘What are the big business challenges that we’re facing that our culture will help us overcome?'”
“No culture is good or bad, per se. One company’s rigorous fool-proof process could be an utter nightmare for an organization that prides itself on agility in a volatile market.
“Whatever the vision, a sense of unity is what matters – be it an aligned focus on growth, your people, or the customer. And that’s what delivers results and fuels innovation.”
scarlettabbott also highlights the importance of face-to-face communication in determining strong and harmonious company cultures – a concept that’s becoming increasingly challenging in a digital world.
“Get it right and your people will work hard,” the report states. “Believe in what your business is setting out to achieve and [it will] help you deliver results towards your goals.
“Get it wrong and watch your people stagnate, procrastinate, or leave in droves.”
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