Well, there is more awareness today around physical and mental wellbeing of people. Companies are talking more about health and wellness, and trying to take actions on this front. Gym memberships and counselling packages are on offer. However, it is important to differentiate actions that are being taken just to further productivity at the workplace and actions that are stemming from deep interest in employee thoughts and concerns. And these actions stem from an insightful understanding of wellbeing.
A recent report by Indeed and Forrester Consulting — Work Wellbeing in India 2023 Report: How Thriving People Create Thriving Companies — looks at employee wellbeing statistics with impact on job performance and retention. The survey was based on 2,132 respondents in India in the active workforce, aged 18 or more and working full-time, part-time or have been unemployed for less than two years. Here are some of the key insights from the report:
What the numbers reveal
Overall, the report said Indian organisations were almost on a par with the global average of about a quarter of employees surveyed experiencing high levels of wellbeing in their workplaces. The survey average for employees reporting high wellbeing in India was 24%; the average across other markets was 25%.Meanwhile, 88% said it was important to find companies that care about how they feel.
Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales, Indeed India, says, “Wellbeing at work is an integral part of our daily lives, whether we’re working remotely or in the office. Our findings indicate that emphasis on wellbeing at work will only increase.”
As many as 67% of the employees surveyed said they felt the employer was responsible for work wellbeing, a number higher (60%) than in other markets. Similarly, 78% reported that wellbeing expectations at work have increased from a year ago. This percentage was also significantly higher than average in other markets, at 47%.
The drivers for wellbeing at work
As expected, people who reported high wellbeing levels also felt more energised, were part of a respectful work environment and have managers who have helped them succeed. On the other hand, those who were not thriving reported feeling stressed (92% of them), though 60% said they would stay in their current job for the next 12 months. The 12-month retention percentage was 75% among those unhappy with work wellbeing.
Those looking for new jobs cited reasons such as ability to achieve goals as a critical one, apart from pay and time/location flexibility, for looking out.
One telling factor was that 69% of the respondents said the leadership expected them to take more work, outside of their responsibilities.
We had spoken earlier about this trend of quiet promotion and what that could entail, over time.
Similarly, the manager played a crucial role in being the wellbeing differentiator. The percentage scores for questions like “my manager understands what it’s like to do my job” and “my manager leads by example” were both significantly higher for those reported being happy with work wellbeing compared with those who were not.
The message one can takeaway is that empathetic and hands-on managers can make a big difference.
Today, we see a multi-generational workforce. And that brings new challenges and the need to understand what makes work interesting for each group.
The report stated that the Gen Z cohort of 18 to 26 years were less satisfied with their work wellbeing, compared with millennials at 24% and Gen X at 27%. Older employees, the report stated, also had more trust in the way their employees prioritised wellbeing.
As much as 67% of the Gen Z employees said they believe the employees connect wellbeing and happiness to business success. That percent was higher with older employees, with the millennial average at 78% and Gen X average at 74%.
Insights like these might help companies to shape their customised and employee-centric approaches to wellbeing for their teams.