Healthy employees are beneficial all-around. They are likely to be more engaged, happy, more productive, take less sick days, make better quality decisions, and contribute more to the organization. Employee health and wellbeing are an obvious goal, and more and more organizations are identifying employee health and wellbeing as a priority. However, creating an organization of healthy employees is easier said than done. A person’s life is not distinctly separated into work and personal life. They are interrelated domains that affect each other. Therefore, health and wellbeing must be approached on a comprehensive scale. This article will examine the factors affecting wellbeing in the work place and what consequences it can have.
A major factor that influences the wellbeing in the workplace is the work setting and its relationship to illnesses. Work setting refers to the physical and emotional health and safety hazards. This may seem more obvious for employee whose work involves “physical work” such as construction or a chemical lab that exposes them to prominent possibilities of injuries and contamination. For more office-based workers, back pain from inadequate chair support, arthritis from too much typing, and vision problems from long hours on the computer all belong in this category. In addition, psychological hazards must also be taken into account in addition to physical hazards, such as sexual harassment. To positively impact this factor, organizations can start by identifying any and all possible physical and psychological hazards, providing ample training and resources, and building a safety culture where everyone is engaged and accountable.
The second factor that contributes to workplace wellbeing is the personality traits of each individual. Some employees exhibit Type A behavior patterns, also known as driven, competitive, high energy, impatient, and rude. Type A individuals are prone to higher stress and higher risk of cardiovascular disease due to elevated blood pressure, which lowers their wellbeing status. Another trait that influences wellbeing is whether the individual has an internal or external locus of control. The locus of control refers to how much control they have in their lives. A person with internal locus of control believe that their behavior largely influences events and outcomes in their lives, where another with external locus of control believes that external forces are largely in control of their events and outcomes. Internal locus of control fosters ease, satisfaction, and less stress as their sense of control is more established.
The third and last factor is occupational stress. Different dimensions that contribute include intrinsic job factors stressing out employees, such as work overload, long hours, rotating shift work, travel, and having a job that is high on demand and low in decisional impact. Role in the organization, including degree of responsibility, role ambiguity, role conflict can all cause occupational stress. Relationships with other people in the organization, including superiors, colleagues, and inferiors can serve as both potential stressors or support depending on the relationship. Job insecurity, unhealthy organizational culture, and management style stresses out employees and have negative health outcomes.
Having low levels of health and wellbeing can have individual and organizational consequences. To the organization, employees with low levels of wellbeing can have a significant impact on bottom line. Increased health insurance costs due to increased claims, lost productivity and absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, injury lawsuits can become a heavy burden to an employer. For the past 15 years, Imagica LPH’s CEO Will Yeaton has helped various organizations successfully implement transformative holistic corporate wellness programs. Organizations have seen unmatched levels of engagement and establishment of a holistic and sustainable culture of health, as well as significant cuts on insurance payouts and workers’ compensation costs. Please visit www.imagicalph.com for more information or contact Will Yeaton at (602) 509-4023 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Danna, K., Griffin, R. 1999. Health and Well-Being in the Workplace: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature. Journal of Management 25(3): 357-384