Linking Employee and Organizational Health
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Astrid M. Richardsen
Chapter 3: Beyond wellness: broadening the discussion of well-being and performance
A healthy workplace is one that ‘maximizes the integration of worker goals for well-being and company objectives for profitability and productivity’ (Sauter et al., 1996, p. 250). While most organizations have performance metrics they look to for evidence of progress toward their operational goals, employee well-being is a more nebulous concept to grapple with. Perhaps that is why many organizations fall back on narrow measures of well-being, such as healthcare claims, biometric data from health screenings, the number of health risks identified in the company’s health risk assessment (HRA), or even just participation rates in the wellness programs they offer. These sources of data can be valuable in identifying need areas, evaluating the impact of poor health, and demonstrating to senior leaders that healthy employees are critical to an organization’s success, but fail to consider a multi-faceted view of well-being that captures the richness and complexity of the human experience. This chapter will explore how work can contribute to a broader experience of well-being and use the American Psychological Association’s ‘Psychologically Healthy Workplace’ model as a framework for considering the types of workplace practices that can enhance employee and organizational outcomes.
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