The wellbeing of an employee pertains to the part of his or her overall wellbeing that is influenced by conditions at work. There are a number of further factors that define and influence their wellbeing at work, one of which is their level of engagement with their work and the company as a whole.
An engaged employee is generally perceived to be one who is fully invested in the company’s goals and processes, and therefore is willing and able to offer a high level of contribution to advance its interests and reputation. The story goes that, when a janitor working at NASA was asked what he was doing, he answered: “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” That’s the archetype of an engaged employee, something that all businesses should be looking to achieve within their teams.
It stands to reason, then, that an employee who is highly engaged with their work and employer will also possess a strong sense of general wellbeing. However, there are around thirty million people employed throughout the UK, and one in three feels disengaged with their work. If an engaged employee is an asset to their company, then a disengaged employee could be harmful to it.
The two aspects – employee engagement and employee wellbeing – are therefore closely linked. There are, in fact, three separate forms of industry-recognised employee engagement:
· Intellectual engagement, which applies to effort and willingness to put in hard work to achieve goals and improve skills
· Affective engagement, which applies to general positivity and good feeling with regard to the work being done
· Social engagement, which applies to the experiencing of positive and meaningful emotions and connections at work, which can lead to the sharing of ideas and improvements being made
Clearly, if all three of those types of engagement are being met, then an overall sense of wellbeing will also be achieved. It’s not a simple thing to master, though – each generation differs in terms of the things it wants and needs for professional satisfaction. Certain aspects do come under scrutiny and need to be considered with regard to the way in which the company operates, but fundamentally everyone wants the same things from their employer:
· The knowledge that their job and/or work matters within the overall business
· Full clarity of their role and what is expected of them
· Understanding of their accountability
· Open, two-way and balanced communication from all management, but especially line managers
If any or all of these elements are lacking, then employee engagement will be extremely difficult to achieve, and a sense of wellbeing will be practically non-existent.
There are a number of methods and techniques that can be employed to promote employee engagement, such as the holding of regular meetings, ensuring that people with the right set of skills are hired in management positions and promoting a culture of honesty that runs through the entire company. The more an employee can become engaged with their work, the greater their sense of wellbeing will be, and vice versa, leading to significant gains for the company and the individual.