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Employee Well-Being: A Workplace Imperative

by Beth on April 20th, 2018

I just finished filming a course for The Great Courses entitled “How to Build a Thriving Workplace: A Leader’s Guide.” It should be available in the fall, so stay tuned!

Clearly, I’m a firm believer in the importance of the employee experience. I agree with Sir Richard Branson who has said that, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Focusing on employee well-being will give your company a huge competitive advantage.

In his book, The Employee Experience Advantage, Jacob Morgan cites research showing that companies with the strongest focus on employee experience are significantly more likely to be ranked among the best places to work and among the most innovative companies. They are also found in the American Customer Satisfaction Index twice as often. And their profit is 4 times the average.

A focus on employee well-being is good for business and, according to Stanford business school professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, it is a moral imperative. His book, Dying for a Paycheck, was published last month. In it, he discusses many of the ills of the modern workplace and argues that they can be life-threatening. He explains how the biggest source of stress is the workplace and that stress is responsible for much of the chronic disease from which so many Americans suffer. Pfeffer estimates that job stress may cause as many as 120,000 deaths each year.

He believes the environment we work in is as important as the one we live in. So we should hold organizations accountable not just for the impact they have on the physical environment, but also for the impact they have on the human beings who work for them. His book is an urgent call for companies to focus on workplace well-being.

The experiences that employees have moment to moment throughout the workday impact their well-being and their performance. Leaders who intentionally focus on creating workplaces where people thrive positively impact the lives of their employees and the success of their companies.

2 Comments
  1. Lisa Mariam permalink

    I was spoiled working at the National Gallery where we had a plethora of workday benefits including flexible schedules, professional development,exercise classes, and even self-defense and other practical workshops. I would go to work every day thinking how lucky I was to work there.

    It’s difficult for smaller organizations with limited resources to offer many of these opportunities. I would love to hear suggestions.

  2. Beth permalink

    Hi Lisa, it’s true that smaller organizations don’t have the resources to offer certain things, but the good news is that there are many factors that improve employee well-being that don’t cost a thing! People thrive at work when they experience gratitude, generosity, compassion, appreciation, respect, and psychological safety. Having autonomy, experiencing flow, stretch assignments, taking breaks, and disconnecting after hours also contribute to a positive employee experience. Every company can make changes that positively impact employee well-being and success.

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