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The impact of employee well-being on business management: an INCAE research on CNN en Español

03 de May 2019
susan.fernandez

The power of technology, with its many powerful tools available to in employee, does not seem sufficient to prevent an increasing number of workers from feeling unmotivated in their jobs. It is on this challenge for companies that the new research that INCAE Business School launched this week in partnership with CNN en Español focuses.

The findings of the study "The impact of employee well-being on business management: an exploratory study in Latin America" will be aired by CNN en Español starting on Tuesday, April 30 at 2 p.m. (Miami time) in Portafolio Global and CNNEspanol.com.

This research was conducted by Camelia Ilie-Cardoza, INCAE’s Dean of Executive Education and Chair of the Center for Collaborative and Women Leadership, together with INCAE professor Guillermo Cardoza, and researchers Andrés Fernández and Ramiro Casó.

This is the first report in a series of studies on the factors that influence the well-being of people and on the processes and mechanisms organizations can use to maximize the contribution of well-being to the productivity and growth of Latin American companies.

The main objective of the paper is to initially evaluate the well-being status of professionals from different industries in various Latin American countries to find areas for improvement and start designing actions to be taken. The vision of INCAE Business School is that these studies will allow organizations to better contribute to the complete development of societies in the countries where they operate.

"More than a consequence of success, well-being seems to be one of its causes," said Ramiro Casó. "That is why it is key to study well-being and its causes and incorporate actions in companies to ensure success in these times of huge change."

According to the researchers, one major benefit of well-being is that it increases employee creativity. By increase in creativity the study means greater propensity to have innovative, valuable ideas. Another great benefit of well-being is that it strengthens workers health, which translates in lower illness and absenteeism rates and, above all, in more adaptive responses to stress. Both creativity and physical health are predictors of success in organizations.

The researchers state that main challenge Latin American organizations face regarding implementing management models that increase employee well-being is to recognize that this is a key component in organizational strategy.

Far from being the soft constituent spoken of regularly, employee well-being at every level is of paramount importance to achieve goals, the authors point out. The first challenge organizations face, they say, is to seriously recognize and incorporate it in their strategic discussions.

"Being happier is something that can be learned and taught," adds Professor Cardoza. In addition, he recommends to "practice generosity and gratitude as well as meditating and exercising" as proven strategies to increase happiness and well-being.

Among its main findings, the study corroborates that the factors resulting in general well-being include positive emotions and purpose.

Well-being, the authors indicate, is an unobservable construct consisting of the combination of five measurable factors (PERMA). By putting them together a well-being index was built.

The research also found three variables that significantly explain the variability of well-being: negative emotions, health, and loneliness.

"Companies in the European Union even have simulators to calculate the labor costs of not having happy employees," says Dr. Ilie-Cardoza. For that reason she affirms that "it is important for Latin America employers to start taking action in relation to employees’ well-being."

According to Dr. Ilie-Cardoza, "The new generations have very clear life goals, with the search for meaning prevailing in their life and work choices. The conclusion of our study is clear: if companies want to increase their productivity, they must invest in employee well-being."

For the entire study click here