As working professionals, the better part of our days are spent at the office. Naturally then, workplace well-being plays an important role in the overall well-being of a working professional. So what does workplace well-being really mean, and what are the factors that influence it?
Unlike what most people believe, recent research reveals that workplace well-being is not solely dependent on conditions prevalent within an organization, such as policies and structure. This has profound implications. It suggests that workplace well-being is not controlled by management alone; instead, it is greatly affected by individual traits and behavior that can be nurtured to an organization’s advantage.
Well-being can be understood in terms of an interplay between individual characteristics (personality and behavior) and the organization. The rules within an organization will be well received, if an individual perceives a certain level of transparency. This will enable employees to be more open and involved in the overall well-being of the organization and also with each other. Some structural factors within an organization are related to employee satisfaction. Aspects like salary and job content contribute toward workplace well-being, but affect different individuals differently. Therefore workplace well-being is a product of both a good fit between an individual and an organization, and high quality relationships between colleagues.
Factors like organizational functions, physical environment, and communication are objective features that also affect workplace well-being and must be controlled in order to create a great place to work. However, it may come as a surprise to many that these are only the objective elements that we know affect workplace well-being. While more subjective individual characteristics, like being positive, good self-esteem, intrinsic motivation, openness, and resilience, among various other factors, greatly affect well-being overall.
The good news is that training programs can be designed to nurture these desirable traits and to control unwanted behavior, effectively complementing the organization’s positive features. With suitable training and development programs behavior can be molded, creating well-being by empowering each individual to seek positive attitudes and behaviors that guarantee greater success. Additionally, HR personnel can use this information for selection purposes, seeking out both the correct skill set for a position and a good fit between the candidate and the organization.
It is imperative that individuals working within an organization realize that they are as vitally responsible for the well-being of the firm, as any manager or company policy. However, despite these discoveries, management should remain responsible for creating an environment that will bring out the best in their employees.
So the next time you are sitting at your desk feeling blocked, trapped or stuck, do not resort to blaming factors like management and your office structure. Rather remember that you are largely responsible for your current situation, and you can change it by embracing the right characteristics to create well-being at your office.