Wellbeing: a direct impact on the bottom line

What is wellbeing at work – and how does it show up?

Recent clients of mine have included a Director who was poorly managed by a disengaged boss and who was possibly at the lowest ebb of his career in terms of confidence and health. There was the skilled senior manager who had always been happy, successful and well-regarded in her organisation but whose output and mental health began to decline when she got a new manager with whom she found it impossible to develop a good relationship. And the senior leader who was seriously overburdened and stressed but who didn’t dare speak to anyone inside her organisation as she feared that even having the conversation would damage her career prospects.

All these clients – and others – were suffering from low levels of wellbeing.


Indicators of wellbeing

Wellbeing at work manifests itself in a variety of ways, including:


Benefits of corporate wellbeing

Organisations with high levels of wellbeing retain their people. According to the Corporate Leadership Council (reported in the Huffington Post) ‘replacing employees who leave can cost up to 150% of the departing employee’s salary when you take into account recruitment, hiring and training costs, [while] organisations that have a highly engaged workforce have the potential of reducing staff turnover by 87%’. Imagine what that can do to the productivity, culture and overall performance of the business.

The benefits also show up in:

In short, profitability, efficiency and effectiveness increase. Positivity breeds positivity.


Factors that enable wellbeing

Employees who understand where the expectations and demands of them sit within the corporate strategy and its translation into corporate tactics, and who understand the place of their contribution in the organisation’s output, will have a greater sense of the relationship between their role and the corporate goals.

This in turn will enable a more substantial sense of purpose – and a higher level of wellbeing – than for those who are simply doing a job in response to a ‘do as I say’ style of leadership. And that sense of purpose – which gives meaning to an organisation’s work and the work of its employees – is a critical factor in the building and sustaining of wellbeing.

Other key factors for enabling wellbeing include:

For most organisations this represents a challenging list, but one which warrants careful consideration. It can contribute a foundation for a wellbeing strategy, starting with a piece of self-examination by leaders to explore where their organisations currently stand and where the gaps might be.

Photo by jimflix! via Compfight

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