U.S. News & World Report (04/03/12) Moeller, Philip
Companies are better off when their employees have higher levels of well-being. According to Harvard professor Lisa Berkman, who has performed a large amount of research on well-being and health, there is a growing amount of evidence that companies that support the well-being of their employees can realize improved employee productivity, reductions in turnover, and higher profits. There are a number of factors that contribute to employee well-being, including the presence of clear goals for achieving meaningful work, as well as the freedom to obtain those goals, said Harvard Business School professor and Director of Research Teresa Amabile. Employees also feel better about their jobs when they are given respect and recognition and when they receive encouragement during difficult times, Amabile said. However, Amabile noted that employees at many organizations feel beaten down and not respected, in part because managers are focused on what is happening in the market rather than what is happening in the workplace. As a result, many employees are not engaged in their work, Amabile said. Berkman noted that these problems can be addressed by changing the nature of work so that it tilts more towards workers and work-family balance. She said that this change will be brought about by three factors: the growing influence of women in the workplace, whose opinions about parenthood and career paths will bring about structural changes in the nation’s workplaces; the rise in the number of senior citizens who remain on the job; and the influence of immigrant workers, who have different cultural and family needs.
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Increasing personal effectiveness is a huge component of increased productivity.