It’s good to belong
By Adam FreillHealth & Safety Labour
New research examines the influence of employee belonging on wellbeing, quiet quitting, and employee engagement.
Employees who don’t feel like they belong are more likely to consider quitting their job due to mental health concerns. That was one of several key findings in a recent study about workplace culture and retention by LifeSpeak, a global workplace wellbeing consulting firm for employers and health plans.
In addition to uncovering a connection between high belonging scores and positive wellbeing outcomes, the study also indicates that disparities exist between men and women when it comes to workplace mental health.
“The hiring and retention trends of recent years have made it clear that individuals want more from their employers than just a paycheck. Employees are making job choices based on an alignment of values and cultural factors, such as diversity, inclusion, and support for wellbeing and a balanced life,” said Michael Held, founder and CEO of LifeSpeak. “Our latest research underscores these trends and suggests that by focusing on creating a healthy culture and supporting whole-person wellbeing, employers can create a sense of belonging that has a ripple effect of positive health and business outcomes.”
The goals of the study were to measure how employees perceive their own physical and mental wellbeing in connection to the workplace benefits their employers offer; gauge employer versus employee perceptions of cultural wellbeing support; and explore the connection between workplace wellbeing strategies and employer outcomes.
The study indicates that employees with low belonging scores are almost 60 per cent more likely to consider quitting their job due to mental health concerns.
Despite this, employees felt less comfortable talking about their health and wellbeing needs at work in 2022 compared to 2021. Women in the study were 30 per cent more likely than men to say their employer doesn’t offer a culture of health and wellbeing, and employees of color were 50 per cent more likely to use employer-sponsored health and wellbeing resources on a monthly basis.
“Quantifying the connection between employee belonging, workplace culture, and benefits is important not only for HR, but C-suite leaders should also take note,” said Held. “Because when employers consistently and authentically commit to nurturing a culture that supports employees with relevant and accessible benefits, they can mitigate negative employment trends, while bolstering business performance.”
Companies in the study that follow workplace wellbeing best practices reported that employees were 18 per cent more productive, easier to recruit, and showed nearly eight per cent greater engagement.
“This intelligence adds to the growing base of knowledge about workplace health and wellbeing, and the crucial role that employers and business leaders at all levels of an organization play in creating a culture that allows employees – and businesses – to thrive,” said Held.