Well-being at work has been a growing trend in companies in recent years. While some companies have embarked on this adventure as a fad, others have realised that it represents a strategic opportunity in their development.
Well-being at work definition
Well-being in the workplace is a complex concept that revolves around numerous factors linked to improving quality of life for employees at work.
Well-being seen by the WHO
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), well-being at work is defined as:
A state of mind characterized by a satisfactory harmony between the worker’s abilities, needs and aspirations on the one hand, and the constraints and opportunities of the workplace on the other
This definition allows us to understand that well-being at work is much more than just the health of employees in the company. It is linked to many factors that stem from quality work life.
The difference between well-being and happiness at work
Happiness at work is a philosophical concept, born from the aspiration of citizens to develop their joy and satisfaction in all aspects of their lives, both personal and professional.
This raises the question of the role that companies can play in the happiness of their employees. Should they play a role?
The happiness of each individual is, in essence, subjective. It is a personal and never-ending quest. It would therefore be misguided to expect your employer to take sole responsibility for the happiness of your teams, as this notion is specific to each individual.
According to Gaël Chatelain-Berry, lecturer, consultant, writer and pioneer in benevolent management, one should not wait for work to bring happiness. His thoughts on this subject even leads him to think that:
“Happiness at work is dead, COVID has killed it”.
It would be utopian to think that companies can guarantee the happiness of all their employees.
As for well-being at work, it is an objective and real concept . It is most often the result of a quality of working life policy. Well-being at work is therefore the result of a global, strategic and organisational approach within companies.
In concrete terms, happiness at work depends on the subjectivity of individuals whereas well-being at work can be achieved with the help of a framework put in place by the company.
Workplace well-being and performance
Well-being at work is a powerful lever for positive change. It is the result of a quality of working life strategy. It is a new approach that appears to be essential to the performance and sustainable development of companies.
The impact of quality of work life on performance
It takes time to improve the development of its employees. It is not enough to simply snap your fingers and hope that everything will change overnight. Focusing on implementing a quality of work life (QWL) policy yields higherh and faster progress.
According to The American Society of Training and Development, it corresponds to: « A process of work organizations which enable its members at all levels to actively; participate in shaping the organizations environment, methods and outcomes. This value-based process is aimed towards meeting the twin goals of enhanced effectiveness of organizations and improved quality of work life for employees ».
QWL helps to place people back at the heart of companies. Companies performances do not depend on the number of hours worked. On the contrary, companies that have put their faith in people find that this is a powerful lever of commitment and innovation.
The creation of an environment and an organisation based on dialogue, listening, respect and trust helps to strengthen commitment and motivation of employees. Quality of work life is the main driver of well-being. Indeed, QWL encompasses all the factors that enable employees to carry out their work to the best of their ability and to blossom.
Workplace well-being and performance in figures
Numerous scientific and managerial studies have highlighted the benefits of well-being and quality of work life for companies and their employees. Investment in human capital is a significant path to performance.
- 13,340 €: A study carried out by Mozart Consulting in 2018 highlighted the cost of ill-being at work in companies. It amounts to 13,340 € per year, per employee, on average, in the private sector. This is an alarming finding which demonstrates the importance of implementing a policy of well-being at work.
- 89%: 89% of employees are more motivated after the implementation of a QWL policy. Employee motivation is the foundation of a company’s productivity. It is the starting point for long-term employee commitment. (source: Wehobby, 2018)
- 13€: 1€ spent on health prevention provides a return on investment of 8 to 13€. Investing in the well-being of its workforce is a very important economic development opportunity for companies. (Source: Well-being and efficiency at work report, French Ministry of Health, 2010)
- 31%: An American study carried out in collaboration by Harvard and MIT has shown that a happy employee is half as sick, 6 times less absent, 9 times more loyal, 55% more creative and 31% more productive.
Well-being in the workplace is positioned as a key corporate strategy. It enables the company to improve its economic performance by limiting the costs linked to ill-being all the while improving employee productivity.
What should the company’s policy include in terms of well-being at work?
Well-being at work and Human Ressources
Well-being at work is at the heart of HR strategy. It has established itself as a key element of human resources management.
Human Ressources are at the heart of business development
Historically, the role of the HR department has been to provide the company with the staff necessary for its smooth operation. However, the evolution of companies over the last few decades and the COVID 19 crisis have shown organisations that human resources are essential to the transformation of companies. The HR function positions itself as the orchestra conductor of business development.
This transformation must go through a revolution in corporate culture and the implementation of a quality of work life policy.
QWL and HR strategy: A necessary duo for the futur
The level of well-being at work has a direct impact on the motivation and commitment of employees. However, the Covid 19 crisis has had a major impact on the level of employee motivation and commitment.
According to a study carried out by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 41% of the UK population felt down, depressed or hopeless about the future due to Covid 19.
The main mission for human resources after confinement is to transform the work environment by putting people back at the heart of the company. This is the best way to combat the negative effects of confinement on the health of their employees and to re-motivate them for the rest of the year.
In order to set up personalised actions to promote employee well-being, it is necessary to measure it.
Measuring well-being at work
Motivation and a good level of well-being at work for a company’s employees is the consequence of the implementation of an HR strategy centered around quality of working life.
To support you in the deployment of your QWL policy, Teamii has developed 2 tools to analyse and measure the well-being of your employees at work through the 7 dimensions of quality of work life.
- QWL audit: We measure QWL through HR department data and employee feedback. This enables us to identify the solutions that best correspond to the real needs of companies according to their challenges.
- QWL Platform: Digital platform for monitoring employee experience covering 5 key themes of quality of work life:
- Weekly well-being follow-up.
- Platform for sharing hobbies to develop social cohesion.
- Setting up an ethical line to fight against harassment.
- Employee engagement via suggestion boxes.
- Establishment of a shared agenda to improve communication of events.
Well-being at work has become an essential part of business development. It allows us to motivate and engage our employees. But it does not appear as if by magic. It is the consequence of an HR policy that puts people back at the heart of the company with the help of a quality of working life policy.