3 ways leaders can improve employee wellbeing in the workplace

Taking a look at how well-being of employees can positively impact performance

As ‘World Wellbeing Week’ draws to a close, we take a look at how the wellbeing of employees can positively impact on organisational performance and how it is intrinsically linked with employee engagement.


Let’s start with the Oxford English Dictionary definition of wellbeing as “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”. When you consider that employee engagement is often used interchangeably with employee happiness, commitment, job satisfaction, and internal communication, the relationship between the two is clear. One definition from the Work Foundation describes this well:

“Employee engagement describes employees’ emotional and intellectual commitment to their organisation and its success. Engaged employees experience a compelling purpose and meaning in their work and give their discrete effort to advance the organisation’s objectives.”


So, we know that employee engagement is nothing new and there are many statistics supporting the fact that it can make a significant difference to the bottom line so how can it, along with employee wellbeing, be improved in the workplace?

The Go M.A.D.® Results Framework provides a structured common-sense approach to how leaders can create a culture of employee engagement and therefore improve performance and productivity.


1) Demonstrate your reason why

Research studies have identified a number of key factors that can increase employee well-being such as the level of significance their individual role has within the workplace and wider society. What is their ‘reason why’?

Tips for leaders in this area include:

  • Ensuring that all employees understand the organisational reason why it exists and the role it plays in society and the world
  • Bringing your strategic ideas and issues to life in a language that makes sense for all employees
  • Taking responsibility for enabling and encouraging your team to have more helpful thoughts on a day-to-day basis

2) Define your focus

Increased clarity has also been found to have a positive impact on employee wellbeing. Whether this is in respect to the parameters of an individuals’ job role, or clear performance expectations, having clearly defined goals will prove beneficial to engagement.

Leaders can define goals whilst supporting empowerment by:

  • Explaining how achieving goals will add value, make a difference and link to the bigger picture of the team and organisation
  • Agreeing goals that enable the team to have successes and wins to celebrate
  • Involving your team in creating or understanding your vision for both the long and short-term

3) Make it everyone’s responsibility

Who is responsible for employee engagement in your organisation? When people have a greater self-awareness of the choices they can make (in terms of their mindset and thinking) and the impact those choices can have on those around them, a culture of personal responsibility will prevail and in turn will increase employee wellbeing. It should be everyone’s responsibility.

Leaders can create this culture by:

  • Building personal responsibility into values and competency frameworks
  • Introducing the word ‘choice’ into more meetings, one-to-ones, communications and asking people what choices they will ‘make today’
  • Ensuring employees understand their individual role in achieving the end goal
  • Engaging and involving people in creating your desired future

Time to make a difference

With the ideas and tips above, what are your next steps? Are you ready to ‘Go Make a Difference’?

As a leader, ask yourself:

What opportunities are there in your business to apply the Go M.A.D.® Results Framework to help improve the levels of engagement and feelings of empowerment?