Workplace wellbeing and firm performance
This is the title of a recently published report by researchers from Oxford and Harvard Universities.
Much of it makes intuitive common sense as they find that wellbeing is associated with firm profitability and that companies with the highest levels of wellbeing also subsequently outperform standard benchmarks in the stock market.
They also describe the problems of objectively measuring these correlations.
But what struck me most was the relatively little attention paid to health. Yes, it features as one of six potential pathways from wellbeing to performance (the others being productivity, relationships, creativity, recruitment and retention) but surely it must come in as the highest ranking?
The authors state that ”The relationship between health and wellbeing is one of strongest and most robust associations documented in the literature” and ” It may be unsurprising that people are happier when they are in better health .”
Yet they don’t give it the prominence I think it deserves.
From what I can see, this is symptomatic of a current trend promoting less tangible aspects of wellbeing rather than taking practical steps to help ill employees get better.
This is of particular relevance in the UK where NHS waiting times are having such a detrimental impact on so many employees who do not have the benefit of access to private healthcare.