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Achievement and engagement key to workplace wellness

Negative work experiences are impacting absenteeism more than other elements reviewed in a new study of workplace wellness.

WorkScore recently compared the data from 70 respondents to the WorkScore wellbeing survey and their absenteeism over a sustained six-month period and found that a low “work” element score correlates to higher absenteeism with three key areas greatly increasing the number of personal leave hours taken:

1. Feeling a sense of achievement

2. Feeling engaged at work

3. Aligning personal values and workplace values

When employees rated low in these areas, their absenteeism doubled.

Suzanne Deeming, co-founder of WorkScore, said that, clearly, negative work experiences are impacting absenteeism more than other wellbeing elements reviewed.

“People who feel a low sense of achievement, feel disengaged or do not align with the ethics and values of their workplace are taking nearly twice as much leave as those who rate highly in these areas,” she said.

The WorkScore data supports the notion that building a positive culture and connecting employees to the vision and values of the company benefit business productivity.

“The data also shows a strong correlation between a focus on wellbeing at work and absenteeism, as employees who feel work cares about wellbeing or feel that work is having a positive impact on their wellbeing, take 15 per cent less personal leave,” Ms Deeming said.

“But there’s more to it than a focus on culture. Absenteeism rates are driven by what happens at work every day.”

There were eight key areas that increased absenteeism: feeling a low sense of achievement at work, not receiving regular recognition at work, feeling disengaged by work, unaligned personal and workplace values, a low sense of belonging and teamwork, having limited flexibility in hours and location, feeling workplace doesn’t care about wellbeing and rating work as having a negative impact on wellbeing.

The good news is employers can take action to reduce the negative impact of work on employee wellbeing:

• Provide regular, meaningful recognition
• Promote work-life balance and flexibility
• Focus on team and culture
• Communicate the vision and values of the business

“Employers should also invest in a wellbeing program. The data shows that employees who rate their workplace as caring about their wellbeing are happier and take less personal leave by up to 15 per cent,” Ms Deeming said. “Employee experiences are key to the performance and productivity of any business.”

WorkScore uses a research-backed, proprietary survey tool to measure the five key elements of wellbeing: work, body, fuel, fitness and mindset.

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