Psychological Wellbeing: Optimising Gains
Within the UK:
- Less than 20% of the population have good psychological wellbeing.
- Only 1/3 of employees are ‘engaged’ in their work, another 1/3 are ‘disengaged’ (Rayton et al., 2012).
Such statistics suggest that even amongst ‘healthy’ employees, the majority regularly perform sub-optimally. For any organisation and its employees, the productivity and cost implications of this are never desirable, let alone in difficult economic times where the potential of a vicious cycle of resource/cost-cutting and decreased employee psychological wellbeing/disengagement increases.
Large-scale and case-study research is conclusive; a well-considered wellbeing programme can not only reduce sickness absence and presenteeism-related costs, but by prioritising a culture that embeds psychological wellbeing and thus attains its by-product employee engagement, can deliver substantial benefits to key performance indicators across sectors.
Rayton et al. (2012) commissioned by the UK Government’s ‘Employee Engagement Task Force’, provided the following examples of how, on its own, employee engagement, brings benefit.
- Income and Growth: “Even in turbulent economic times engagement works. Research from organisations representing more than five million employees worldwide in the Aon Hewitt database showed that in 2010 organisations with engagement levels of 65% or greater outperformed the total stock market index and posted total shareholder returns that were 22% higher than average; companies with engagement levels of 45% or less had a total shareholder return that was 28% lower than the average return.” (p. iii)
- Performance and Productivity:
- “85% of the world’s most admired companies believe that efforts to engage employees have reduced employee performance problems (Hay, 2010)”. (p. iii)
- “A Fortune 100 manufacturing company reported quality errors as significantly higher in poorly engaged teams (DDI, 2005). The RSA insurance company found that their units with higher levels of employee engagement had 35% less downtime between calls – in effect the equivalent of one ‘free of charge’ employee being added to every 8 engaged employees.” (p. iv)
- Customer/Client Satisfaction: “70% of the more engaged have a good understanding of customer needs against only 17% of the disengaged (PricewaterhouseCooper).” (p. iv)
- Absence and wellbeing: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report that engaged employees take an average of 2.69 days sick a year; the disengaged take 6.19 days sick (p. iv)
- Retention: “Replacing employees who leave can cost up to 150% of the departing employee’s salary. The Corporate Leadership Council reports that highly engaged organisations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by 87%; the disengaged are four times more likely to leave the organisation than the average employee (CLC, 2008).” (p. v)
- Health & Safety: “The Olympic Delivery Authority by June 2011 had an Accident Frequency Rate of 0.17 per 100,000 hours worked, which was less than half the construction industry average, and attributed this to strategies known to improve employee engagement.” (p. v)
“94% of the world’s most admired companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage (Hay, 2010)” (Rayton, et al., 2012, p.v).
L&M’s comprehensive approach enables organisations:
- To understand how its culture, strategy and practice impinge and promote employees’ psychological wellbeing and subsequent performance,
- To develop and deliver an organisation-specific wellbeing programme that mitigates the concerns and further promotes good practice, and
- Provides a real opportunity to attain improvements across key-performance indicators.