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Improved wellbeing associated with improved performance, says BIS

A Government study into the relationship between employee wellbeing and improved workplace performance has found a 'positive association'.

The report 'Worker Wellbeing and Workplace Performance' from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said that there was a 'considerable amount of evidence' for a correlation between wellbeing and job performance.

Causal relationship

But it was less emphatic on the question of causality. While it said there was 'some evidence' that higher levels of wellbeing had a causal link to better job performance, the relationship was not 'straightforward' and more research was needed.

On the other hand, its literature review found 'a clear, positive, statistically significant relationship' between job satisfaction and workplace performance, consistent with a 'causal relationship'.

And there was clear evidence that an increase in job dissatisfaction was linked to deteriorating workplace performance.

Investment in wellbeing

Employers investing in the wellbeing of their employees are likely to see improvements in workplace performance, it said.

Promoting employee wellbeing could also benefit wider society, it said, creating 'happier' citizens with more fulfilling family lives and greater participation in social activities, who are less reliant on welfare and healthcare services.

'A higher level of job-related subjective wellbeing might then be considered a goal in itself - a point reflected in broader arguments about moving beyond purely economic measures such as GDP when considering levels of national progress,' it said.

But it pointed out that there was no one-size-fits-all policy for improving employee wellbeing and job satisfaction, and some measures were likely to work better for some than others, given the 'heterogeneity' across workplaces.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published the pdf icon Promoting positive mental health in the workplace [386kb], which sets out practical measures to improve wellbeing, and to build supportive working environments.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and review your health and wellbeing arrangements, improve employee engagement, and find ways to reduce organisational stress. See Health, wellbeing and managing attendance, or contact the Acas customer services team on 0300 123 1150 for more information.

Practical Acas training is also available on Health, work and wellbeing, Stress, Staff retention and essential Skills for supervisors

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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We recommend that you explore further information and advice available on this website, particularly within our Advice A-Z guidance pages. If you have questions about workplace rights and rules visit Helpline Online.

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