Senior Leadership Support Big Factor in Workplace Well-Being

Is Social Work Right for You?

Despite workplace wellness efforts getting a lot of attention recently, only a third of American workers say they regularly participate in the health promotion programs provided by their employer, according to APA’s 2016 Work and Well-Being Survey. The difference between those who do and don’t participate may be the attitude of their management.

Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of employees with senior managers who show support through involvement and commitment to well-being initiatives said their organization helps employees develop a healthy lifestyle, compared with just 11 percent who work in an organization without that leadership support, according to the online by Harris Poll conducted for the American Psychological Association among more than 1,500 U.S. adults in March.

Less than Half of Employees think their Company Supports Employee Well-Being

However only 44% of working Americans say the climate in their organization supports employee well-being, and 1 in 3 reports being chronically stressed on the job, an increase in the percentage of those reporting chronic job stress for the first time in three years. And only 41 percent said their employer helps workers develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The survey found widespread links between support from senior leaders and a variety of employee and organizational outcomes, with more than 9 in 10 workers saying they feel motivated to do their best (91 percent vs. 38 percent of those without leadership support), are satisfied with their job (91 percent vs. 30 percent) and have a positive relationship with supervisors (91 percent vs. 54 percent) and coworkers (93 percent vs. 72 percent). These employees are also more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (89 percent vs. 17 percent) and fewer said they intend to leave their job in the next year (25 percent vs. 51 percent).

Employee well-being is more than health

When it comes to building a climate of well-being, employers need to look beyond just physical health to help employees feel recognized, valued and involved and create opportunities for growth and development, said David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, director of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. But as the survey revealed, employers are falling short in their efforts.

Overall, only about half of employed adults said they feel valued by their employer (53 percent) and that the rewards and recognition they receive reflect the effort they put into their work (50 percent).  Even fewer said the recognition they receive reflects their contributions to the organization (47 percent) and is based on a fair performance evaluation system (47 percent).

Lack of opportunity second to pay as main stress at workplace

Just half of working Americans said they believe their employer provides enough opportunities to be involved in decision-making and fewer than that (46 percent) said they regularly participate in activities that involve them in making decisions, solving problems or settings goals.

With lack of opportunity for growth or advancement being second only to low salaries as a source of job stress, only half of the U.S. workforce reported being satisfied with the development opportunities offered by their employer, and just 43 percent said their employer provides sufficient opportunity for internal advancement.

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