There is a tendency to think about employee wellbeing as an area where employers are lacking, where benefits, support and opportunies for workers are thin on the ground and therefore insufficient.

But it turns out that all might not be as it seems; according to Edenred’s Annual Wellbeing Barometer, just over seven out of ten employees (71%) do in fact feel positive about their workplace.

Interestingly, a manager who genuinely cares and who creates an environment of motivation and reward is the main reason for this feel-good factor at work.

Plenty of positivity

The survey was carried out with more than 14,400 workers across the world and shows that significantly more than half of UK employees (60%) enjoy coming to work in the morning. An even higher number (64%) feel personally fulfilled by their jobs and a very optimistic 70% find their job interesting.

What’s really good to see is that the UK is getting the work/life balance right, with almost three quarters (74%) of employees saying they are content with the balance between work and private life.

Good management is where it’s at

One of the key findings from the research was the undeniable importance of good management and leadership, especially in the context of emotional wellbeing. The message is clear:  managers who support, care and encourage are more important than ever in motivating and incentivising employees and creating a happy workforce.

Almost all UK workers consider leadership (94%), honesty and fairness (95%), an ability to listen (96%) and an ability to trust (95%) important qualities in their management team.

Wellbeing movement continues to gather momentum

The results of the Edenred barometer prove just how straightforward it is to get people feeling good about their workplace: caring for your employees is what matters most to them above almost anything else.

It doesn’t get much simpler: use motivation, incentive and reward to create an atmosphere of appreciation and positivity among your employees. Express gratitude, listen to them and understand their issues and they will feel valued.

Crucially, offering them a varied range of personalised benefits really does play an invaluable role in your people feeling motivated about their jobs, their management and their companies.

How do we stack up on a global scale?

From a global point of view, the results of the survey demonstrate that the mood among UK employees is more or less the same as in similar economies throughout Europe as well as Brazil, Chile and China.

In comparison, Japan and India show the most extreme spikes in the survey, with a paltry 44% of the Japanese workforce feeling positive about their wellbeing at work versus an notable nine out of 10 (88%) employees in India enjoying their jobs and feeling personally fulfilled by them.

Not surprisingly, in the same context, only 32% of Japanese workers feel their supervisor has the qualities of a good manager.

No room for complacncy

We can be rightly pleased about creating a largely happy, positive workforce in the UK but we mustn’t stop there. The remaining third of workers can’t be ignored and offer plenty of potential to increase the feel-good factor at work still further.

The number of discontented UK workers (29%) is further represented by a similar number (32%) that claims not to feel proud of their company. Just over a quarter of employees (26%) feel that their employer is not doing enough to promote and support wellbeing at work, with a similar number (32%) expecting better training and skills development and more support at the end of their career (30%).

These results show that employers still have work to do in meeting the needs of their entire workforce and that efforts to improve wellbeing at work need to be increased in order to influence and convert this group.

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