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Engaged Employees are More Likely to be Healthy Employees

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Recently, the Gallup organization studied 168 workers to discover the impact of employee engagement on work behavior. This study is detailed in Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, by Tom Rath & Jim Harter.  As part of the study, the participants were provided with handheld devices to alert them at random times during the workday. At that point, they provided information about what they were doing, who they were with, and answered several mood related questions. They also wore heart rate monitors and provided saliva samples to test for physical parameters of well-being.

There was a distinct difference between employees who were engaged and happy with their work and those who were disengaged. The employees who were engaged had less stress and reported higher levels of interest throughout the day. Disengaged employees showed an increase in happiness and lessening stress toward the end of the day. It appeared that they were just waiting for work to be over to be able to enjoy their life.

This difference resulted in marked differences in health outcomes. Those individuals who were disengaged from their work were twice as likely to be diagnosed as depressed as those who enjoyed their work. In addition, increased engagement at work was associated with improvements in cholesterol and blood pressure readings.

The cost of illness for the workplace is multidimensional. In addition to the cost of medical treatment, workers who are ill are absent from work more frequently are not as productive. The psychologically healthy workplaces that increase worker engagement reap benefits on many levels.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. John Weaver published on February 16, 2011 6:05 AM.

Do You Think Multitasking is a Good Thing? If So, You Would Be Incorrect was the previous entry in this blog.

A Healthy Workplace is a Thing of Beauty is the next entry in this blog.

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