In a recent blog , I discussed the link between transformational leadership and employee engagement. The linkage is incredibly important and I would like to share more information pursuant to a new survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) that focused on employee well-being. In March, an online survey of 1,500 U.S. adults was conducted by Harris Poll and I hope the results will start the conversation for you and your company on “How to Increase Staff Engagement!”
According to the survey, an important observation considering the prevalence of workplace wellness efforts is that just one-third of American workers say they regularly participate in the health promotion programs offered by their employer.
In addition, less than half of working Americans (44 percent) say the climate in their organization supports employee well-being, and 33% report being chronically stressed on the job. Senior leadership support is seen as a key part of the solution according to the survey.
What is really telling in the APA’s 2016 Work and Well-Being Survey is that nearly 73 percent of employees with senior managers who show support through involvement and commitment to well-being initiatives said their organization helps employees develop a healthy lifestyle. This result is contrasted with just 11 percent who work in an organization without that leadership support.
The survey supports my research in that it found widespread links between support from senior leaders and a variety of employee and organizational outcomes. More than 9 in 10 workers said they feel motivated to do their best (91 percent vs. 38 percent of those without leadership support), are satisfied with their job (91 percent vs. 30 percent) and have a positive relationship with supervisors (91 percent vs. 54 percent) and coworkers (93 percent vs. 72 percent). Not surprisingly, these employees are also more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (89 percent vs. 17 percent) and fewer said they intend to leave their job in the next year (25 percent vs. 51 percent).
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The survey indicated that 33 percent of employees surveyed said they typically feel tense or stressed out during the workday. This number represents an increase in the percentage of those reporting chronic job stress for the first time in three years. Just 41 percent said their employer helps workers develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Promoting employee well-being isn’t a singular activity, but is instead set up in a climate that is cultivated, embraced and supported by high-level leaders and managers,” said David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, director of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “When supervisors’ actions match their words, employees notice.”
Even though leadership support is related to how employees feel about their work, only 4 in 10 working Americans said their senior managers are involved in and committed to well-being initiatives.
Ballard goes on to suggest that when it comes to building a climate of well-being, employers need to look beyond just physical health to help employees feel recognized, valued and involved and create opportunities for growth and development. The bottom line, according to the survey, is that continue to fall short in their efforts.
Rewards and recognition continues to be a problem with only about half of employed adults responding that they feel valued by their employer (53 percent). Only 47 percent suggest that the recognition they receive reflects their contributions to the organization.
It appears that employers continue to fall short in providing enough opportunities to be involved in decision-making. Only half of working Americans receive these opportunities. Just 46 percent said they regularly participate in activities that involve them in making decisions, solving problems or settings goals.
Low salaries continue to be the leading source of job stress. The second leading source of job stress is the lack of opportunity for growth or advancement. Only half of the U.S. workforce reported being satisfied with the development opportunities offered by their employer. Just 43 percent said their employer provides sufficient opportunity for internal advancement.
“Many employers say they focus on workplace wellness, but what is put into place is too often individual programs or policies that aren’t supported by the organization’s culture,” Ballard said. “Employers who truly embrace well-being as part of how they do business create a workplace where both employees and the organization thrive.”
Let me start the conversation with these questions:
- As an employee, do you agree with these survey results?
- As an employer, do you agree with these survey results?
- As either an employee or employer, what are your ideas on addressing these concerns?
As a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Prosci Change Management Practitioner with ten years experience, I would love to hear from you…please leave a question or comment! Here is a link to my profile.
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