Unhappy workers take more sick leave

Gallup-Healthways has recently issued details of their Well-being Index – a survey of over 100,000 Americans which shows that employees who are unhappy at work take, on average, an extra 15 days sick leave a year. Yes, that’s right, an extra 15 days a year.

The survey assesses well-being at work by asking employees about

i) job satisfaction,
ii) whether their boss is authoritative or collaborative,
iii) whether there is openness and trust in the workplace and
iv) whether their individual strengths are recognised.

Just over a fifth of full-time employees apparently reported working in a negative environment. Even if only a half of those surveyed are full-time, this still equates to an enormous amount of lost productivity.

Clearly this has significant cost implications for business and for the economy in general; so any organisation, profit-making or otherwise, which doesn’t take employee well-being seriously should probably think again.

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