Employee Wellbeing Extends Beyond Just Engagement at Work

“Wellbeing” is a big word. Not because of its 9 letters, but because of its inherent meaning to us as humans, beyond just what is experienced in the workplace.

At RecogNation, we are obviously firm believers in the power of employee engagement. It’s what we strive for every day. However, employee engagement is not the end game when it comes to overall wellbeing. In fact, it’s not even close! 

According to Gallup, engaged workers who are thriving outside of work are less likely to experience burnout and stress than engaged workers who are not thriving outside of work. Those not thriving are 61% more likely to experience burnout, 48% more likely to report daily stress, and twice as likely to report daily sadness and anger. 

With this information, we have no choice but to redefine wellbeing as everything that is important to us and how we experience life.  

Gallup studied wellbeing in more than 98% of the world’s population and found that there are five common elements of wellbeing that people need to thrive:  

  • Career Wellbeing 
  • Social Wellbeing 
  • Financial Wellbeing 
  • Physical Wellbeing 
  • Community Wellbeing 

Since we are an employee engagement company after all, let’s dive deeper into the idea of “career wellbeing,” and observe how your engagement at work affects your overall wellbeing. 


Career Wellbeing 

Career wellbeing is highly important and may often lay the foundation for the other four elements. In the absence of a fulfilling career, there is no net thriving for the individual. Openly addressing wellbeing and engagement can contribute to a company’s success and, more importantly, contribute to people’s happiness and opportunity to thrive. 

Not even half of workers in the U.S. strongly believe their organization cares about their wellbeing. Thus, it is crucial for companies to nurture a culture that focuses on holistic wellbeing. Here are seven catalysts employers can utilize in order to support and positively impact their employees’ wellbeing behaviors. 

Development  

Ensure your development plans incorporate not just performance goals, but wellbeing goals as well. 

Recognition 

Share and celebrate wellbeing triumphs on a regular basis. 

Communication 

Make messages, especially from leaders and managers, resonate with your high-performing and thriving culture. 

Incentives 

Inspire participation in activities that produce results and match your company values. 

Events 

Build awareness (and continue the education and development) of your thriving culture through regular events. 

Rules and Guidelines 

Design structure to encourage thriving in each of the five elements of wellbeing. 

Facilities 

Create an office space where workers can move around, can physically see the outdoors, and can collaborate easily together without being disruptive to others. 

As you can imagine, career wellbeing and overall wellbeing are interconnected with employee engagement. Because while we all have lives outside of our careers, the workplace is a necessary source of social interaction that fosters a community employees enjoy being a part of. Peer-to-peer recognition and interactions (i.e. via a workplace social engine) create that connection and keep employees engaged. 


The Importance of Employee Engagement 

As we can see from Gallup’s meta-analysis of 1.4 million employees, companies with high levels of engagement witnessed 21% more productivity and 22% more profitability than companies with low levels of engagement. Engaged employees produce better outcomes, are more likely to stay at their jobs, and not only show up, but bring their best every day.  

According to chief scientist Jim Harter, engaged employees are more attentive, vigilant, helpful to coworkers, and are closer to great ideas. These positive attributes are favorable as companies constantly evolve. Engaged employees think about the whole company and how they fit into it, oftentimes resulting in better decision making.  

So, while employee engagement is important in improving the employee’s career wellbeing, we have to keep in mind that career wellbeing is just one of several factors that contribute to one’s overall wellbeing. And that when an overabundance of time, energy, and focus is spent on work, there is none left to spend on improving other important areas of life.