The benefits of wellbeing at work
Workplace stress is a chronic and pressing issue for organizations (Nixon, Mazzola, Bauer, Kruger, & Spector, 2011). Particularly in Western countries, there is a stark contrast between knowledge of the benefits of work wellbeing for both the employee and the organization (see Harter, Schmidt, & Keyes, 2002, or Lewis, 2011) and the high rates of unhappiness at work (e.g., 50%; Mercer, 2011). However, employees with high wellbeing provide many benefits. For example, happier employees are healthier (Waddell & Burton, 2006), have less sick days (Bertera, 1990), earn more (Koo & Suh, 2013) and get promoted sooner (Boehm & Lyubomirsky, 2008).
They are more effective (George & Bettenhausen, 1990) and productive (Bockerman & Ilmakunnas, 2012; Page & Vella-Brodrick, 2009), display better organizational citizenship behaviors (Organ, 1988), inspire customer loyalty (Harter, Schmidt & Hayes, 2002), increase the wellbeing of other employees (Christakis & Fowler, 2009; Totterdell, Kellett, Teuchmann, & Briner, 1998), stay in their jobs longer (Rusbult & Farrell, 1983; Judge, 1993), and can even increase the organizations stock market value (Edmans, 2012). Of course happy employees have a place in society beyond their organizations as they spread their wellbeing influence; happy employees are good for societal wellbeing (Graham, 2010). The benefits of work wellbeing are thus relatively well established.
On the whole it is better for employees to be happier and satisfied at work than not, and these benefits accrue from the individual, to the organization, and to society.
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