A happy worker is a cheaper worker

TheGlobeandMail.com – Report on Business – A happy worker is a cheaper worker
February 18, 2009. TAVIA GRANT

Happier workers tend to be more productive, take fewer sick days and cost employers less in disability expenses, a survey to be released Wednesday suggests.

Stress tends to affect about 28 per cent of highly engaged employees compared with 39 per cent of disgruntled workers, according to consultancy Hewitt Associates’ annual survey of 115,000 Canadian employees.

The survey asked how many days employees missed in the past six months due to emotional, physical or mental fatigue, and found organizations with low engagement scores recorded more than twice as many days off on average than high-engagement employers.

This difference can cost a large organization, with at least thousand employees, about $1-million a year in disability costs and lost productivity, the report said.

“Better health, lower job stress and a manageable workload translate into tangible benefits for employers, particularly in terms of lower absenteeism,” said Rochelle Morandini, Hewitt’s senior organizational health consultant.

Engaged workers tend to be in better physical health. More than half, or 56 per cent, of people at high-engagement places reported being in good health, versus about 41 per cent who said so in low-engagement organizations.

Workloads also tend to differ. Disengaged workers tend to have heavier work overloads while those at engaged organizations reported fewer workload problems.

“High engagement goes hand-in-hand with better health and well-being,” said Neil Crawford, leader of Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada study. “Employees at organizations with high engagement reported better physical health, lower job stress and work overload, and greater financial security.”

The research was carried out in conjunction with Hewitt’s 2009 best employers in Canada study.

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