Wellbeing: because we need to believe that the company wants us to be happy
Employee satisfaction is not just a benefactor's habit but is a real investment to move forward in increasingly unstable markets.
According to the latest report edited by the Global Wellness Institute, the welfare economy has grown in the last year by 6.4% and is worth 4.2 trillion dollars today. Multiple sectors are involved, from body-care to construction, from nutrition to preventive medicine. The concept of wellbeing is therefore expanding and has increasingly unforeseen connections.
There is a chapter of the so-called wellbeing market that is still small from the point of view of the numbers invested, but has strong repercussions in terms of reducing the costs incurred by the company and that is the market of the wellbeing in the workplace. Valued at 47.5 billion dollars, this market can offset the losses associated with a sick and unsatisfied workforce (losses estimated at 10-15% of global economic output). To date, only 321 million people (around 9.8% of global employees) enjoy a wellbeing program at work. The programs dedicated to the workers' wellbeing include actions aimed at guaranteeing disease prevention, reducing work-related stress, improving the balance between private life and work, improving workplace and managerial culture. In this context, the Wellness at Work of the Global Wellness Institute recently published a whitepaper in which it identifies key changes in the concept of wellbeing in the workplace, increasingly oriented to focus on the development of the potential and motivation of employees in the future.
To summarize, there are four principles to describe this revolution:
The importance of "We". As the work units evolve into teams, global networks, partnerships and ad hoc project groups, we need to create environments in which people can rely on each other in a serene, safe and comfortable relationship, within which you can experiment with new technologies, new ideas and risk abandoning old habits and markets to open up to increasingly rapid changes. The results are increasingly collective and conditioned by the quality of the relationships within the working groups. Offering the opportunity to abandon the ego for shared wellbeing is one of the challenges of making workers feel good and making the business thrive.
The clarity of a purpose. Being able to identify and better communicate the set of values and motivations of the organization within it is the fundamental step for guiding individuals on a daily basis, knowing that their activities will have an impact on the bigger picture. In the bigger picture, the integration of the values and motivations that regulate the company fosters psychological wellbeing as it allows for the work activities and daily life activities to be linked, without forcing people to make a schizophrenic change in relation to the daily roles they undertake.
Inclusion and Diversity Management. Research suggests that an authentic management of the diversity and wealth of experience that characterizes the company and a policy of inclusion will produce more innovative, committed and performing teams. All this will increase profitability, improve the reputation of the brand, and allow it to attract the best talent.
Investments in mental wellbeing. Within the pyramid of wellness, mental wellbeing supports all the others, because without it every change is experienced as a destabilizing and therefore dangerous factor. By mental wellbeing we mean the balance between thought, sensations and emotions. Neurosciences and behavioral theories are offering a great contribution to understanding how to improve the quality of relationships and to develop emotional and social intelligence of employees, with great results in terms of performance and belonging.
As Frédéric Lenoir wrote in his book "Happiness. A Philosopher's Guide", scientists are studying the state of happiness of people through biochemical analysis and brain imaging. What has been understood so far is that while pleasure is a measurable and momentary state, the state of happiness is a complex phenomenon that escapes punctual conditioning, of momentary pleasure (therefore also of benefits or isolated pleasant activities).
The Report of the Global Wellness Institute also comes to the same conclusion and emphasizes that wellbeing cannot be achieved without integrated actions in the long term and therefore each element must become part of the person's spontaneous mental world. Investing in people's ability to feel happiness means investing in work efficiency and long-term results, with a multiplier effect that is often invisible when you look at the short-term numbers. The so-called intangibles have, on the other hand, become one of the most important factors, also at stock level. Corporate happiness, or if preferred, the satisfaction of the people who help the company to move forward, is becoming the greatest and most pleasant challenge of the companies of the future.
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