By Jeremy Morris, Associate Editor, US Daily Review.
Should employers be concerned about their employees’ personal lives? A new study says they sho
uld and demonstrates that if employers truly want their employees to be productive and perform at their peak, they need to pay attention to what drives their overall well-being, which is determined primarily by factors outside of work.
Well-being is the combination of factors that make people feel grounded and satisfied and takes into account health and wellness; finances; career and work satisfaction; home and family life and daily routine. A recent survey of 2,000 working adults in the U.S. done by Horizons Workforce Consulting found that 89 percent of employees with high levels of well-being reported high job satisfaction and nearly two thirds of those employees reported consistently putting in extra effort at work. However, when asked how various factors contributed to their overall well-being, job satisfaction accounted for only 13 percent while one’s personal life accounted for more than half.
“It’s clear that creating a culture that supports employee well-being can increase workforce potential and drive organizations forward. But understanding what motivates employees and keeps them engaged can be a difficult task, particularly when you take into account the various disruptions competing for mindshare and preventing employees from contributing fully,” says Bright Horizons CEO David Lissy. “To cultivate a performance-driven environment, employers need to look within their workforces and understand their needs.”
A global study funded by the World Economic Forum indicates that when employees feel like their employers care about their well-being, they are eight times more likely to be engaged in their work.
“There will always be lines that should not be crossed when talking to employees about their personal lives,” Lissy says. “But to draw those lines in too narrow a manner can prevent you from retaining and engaging the talent you need to succeed. Embracing this requires throwing out the old adage that when people arrive at work they leave their personal lives at the front door. Those days are over.”
Horizons Workforce Consulting (HWC) works with employers to develop customized, anonymous well-being surveys that can measure the well-being of their specific employee populations. The surveys differ from typical employee opinion surveys that ask, “How are we, as your employer, doing?” and instead ask, “How are you, our employee, doing?” Questions on the surveys range from topics such as personal finances and satisfaction with personal life to health issues and job satisfaction. The results of the surveys can then be used to determine where employees are doing well and where they may need additional support.
One recent survey revealed that employees appreciate the opportunity to discuss their life as a whole. An employee from one organization said, “It’s great to be given the opportunity to comment on these aspects of my life. I’m looking forward to seeing where the data and information will go and how it will be used for benefits and productivity.” Another said, “Thank you for taking this interest in us as employees. I value having input that may increase overall life satisfaction.”