Does worker well-being affect workplace performance?

  • Performance
  • By Aleks Szymanski
  • Published on February 15

Given that people spend around a third of their lives at work, employees and employers need to encourage healthy environments and behaviors. Supporting well-being creates a positive atmosphere while also aiding productivity. A physically and mentally healthy workforce will benefit from higher levels of motivation, engagement, and performance, not to mention job satisfaction.

Workplace well-being helps to reduce employees’ stress levels, freeing them mentally to think more creatively and intuitively. This then strengthens resilience and adaptability, allowing them to overcome any unexpected challenges that come their way. Plus, a healthy, happy workforce is a productive one, providing businesses with many benefits, including:

Improved focus and decision-making

When you’re in a positive frame of mind, your brain functions better. You can concentrate more easily, think more creatively, and make better decisions. This benefits job roles of all kinds. For instance, [happier accountants may identify more efficient ways to file tax returns], while optimistic managers will motivate their teams more effectively.

Reduced absenteeism

Employees with higher levels of well-being will take fewer days off work due to illness or other issues. As they feel less stressed or burnt out, they will call in sick less frequently. Minimizing absenteeism in the workplace will help businesses save on sick pay and hiring replacement staff while significantly increasing productivity.

Increased collaboration

In a supportive environment where people feel good, employees are more likely to help each other out and work together cooperatively. They will build stronger relationships based on trust and understanding, resulting in improved information sharing, teamwork, and collaboration between departments. When people feel like part of a larger community in the workplace, they’re more willing to go that extra mile for their co-workers and the organization as a whole.

A better company culture

Employers should build a positive company culture based on mutual trust and respect. Recognizing and rewarding employee accomplishments and achievements is invaluable, as when people feel valued and supported, they become more invested in the organization's ongoing success. Ensuring managers are approachable and open to feedback will further help bring the workforce closer together.

Increased retention rates

Employees start a new job feeling excited about the new opportunity in front of them. By keeping them happy and engaged and feeling their contribution is making a difference, they are less likely to start looking for opportunities elsewhere. Engaged employees generally have a more positive outlook, while their attention will remain focused on their current role and doing their best for the organization. 

Greater customer satisfaction

Finally, when employees with good well-being will reflect this positively in their attitude and how they deal with customers and/or external suppliers. This will create a positive customer experience, making everyone in the supply chain feel valued, thereby building stronger relationships. Indeed, satisfied employees are more likely to upsell or make cross-sales, producing higher returns. Similarly, happy customers will then let their friends and family know about what a great experience they had, thereby enhancing your company’s reputation.

So, paying attention to well-being in the workplace directly impacts key measures of organizational success, including productivity, profitability, and performance. By investing in the health and happiness of employees, companies are actually investing in themselves. The link between well-being and workplace performance is clear: promoting one leads to gains in the other, creating a positive cycle of progress.