Happy employees have more oomph

BY Angelique Diedericks
Executive Consultant at Work Dynamics

Who is responsible for employees’ well-being?

Employees are increasingly under pressure to learn new skills to keep up with constant changes in their working environments.

Although their jobs don’t change, they must adapt very quickly as their job specs expands with new tasks, and there is an increasing expectation around productivity and 24/7 availability.

“This can cause the employee to experience negativity and stress, which can lead to reduced productivity. This could lead to increased illnesses, absenteeism, injury on duty and a higher staff turnover. Not to mention the negative impact it can have on marriages, family relationships and society,” says Angelique Diedericks, Executive Consultant at Work Dynamics.

“More organisations realise that there are benefits of investing in employees’ emotional well-being. Wellness programmes help employees to build a resistance to stress and stress related symptoms, also receiving guidance. The content of programmes is quite varied – some companies even offered yoga classes and back massages during work hours as stress relief initiatives.

“The programmes focus on empowering employees with the life skills they need to cope with the job challenges that they face. Organisations also need to do some introspection, addressing their management styles and the impact it has on their employees’ emotional well-being,” says Angelique. “Each organisation has its own culture and atmosphere, but relationship problems, harassment and isolation in the work environment are major causes for emotional problems.”

Initiatives that promote employee well-being should be more interlinked with management and leadership functions.

Other factors which could lead to more positive emotional experiences include:

  • Clarity about the different roles in the organisation;
  • Clarity about personal and organisation objectives;
  • Ownership when tasks are delivered;
  • Set goals are linked to an altruistic and achievable impact;
  • Opportunities to develop;
  • Collaboration, support and good relationships at work.

“The bottom line is that the emotional well-being of employees, and the factors which will influence it positively or negatively, should be a high priority to ensure healthy and prosperous businesses,” says Angelique.