John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company

This World Mental Health Day, research from The Myers-Briggs Company provides key insights into workplace wellbeing  

Recent research from The Myers-Briggs Company – focused around a study of more than 10,000 people from 131 countries – reveals how well-being at work improves with age and looks at the positive role of relationships in workplace well-being, as well as the role of gender and nationality. 

The Myers-Briggs Company – a Certified B Corporation® – is urging businesses to consider the well-being of their workforce. A third of your life is spent at work, but what determines your well-being while in the office? That’s the question that Dr. Martin Boult, Senior Director Professional Services & International Training, The Myers-Briggs Company, asked before starting a three-year international study on workplace well-being.  

Boult’s “Well-being in the Workplace” report, released in May this year, explores the most effective activities for enhancing well-being and its benefits for both people and organisations. 

The study of more than 10,000 people from 131 countries compared workplace well-being across geographies, occupations, genders, personality types and age. Boult, along with Dr. Rich Thompson, Senior Director Research, The Myers-Briggs Company, also analysed relationships between workplace well-being and organisational outcomes such as commitment and job satisfaction. The study showed that: 

Well-being improves with age. The youngest age group (18-24 years) reported the lowest levels of well-being (6.77) and the oldest age group (65+ years) reported the highest (8.14).

Relationships are the leading contributor to workplace well-being. Relationships ranked the highest contributing aspect of well-being (7.85 out of 10), followed by Meaning (7.69), Accomplishments (7.66), Engagement (7.43), and Positive Emotions (7.19 out of 10). 

Gender plays a role in workplace well-being. While men and women have similar levels of well-being at work (men = 7.45; women = 7.52), women reported slightly higher levels of Engagement (women = 7.47; men = 7.29) and Positive Emotions (women = 7.22; men = 7.13). This suggests women’s overall well-being may be supported by emotions that link to levels of interest and enjoyment they get from their work.

Well-being is similar around the world. Participants from Australia/New Zealand and Latin America reported the highest levels of well-being (7.83 out of 10), while participants in Asia (7.38) reported the lowest. “The similar levels being reported suggest that regional culture may have less of an effect on workplace well-being than previously thought,” said Thompson. 

Workplace well-being is related to organisational outcomes. Higher levels of workplace well-being correlated with:

  • Higher levels of job satisfaction
  • Higher commitment to the organisation
  • Citizenship behaviors such as increased discretionary effort to help co-workers and contributing to organisational objectives
  • Employees being less likely to have plans to look for a new job

Commenting on the findings, John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, said:

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“Growing evidence shows well-being influences a wide range of life outcomes and, despite organisations spending vast sums on “wellness programs”, few companies use real insight to inform their workplace well-being strategies.  

“Companies should consider how they can leverage these insights to benefit their workforce. For example our research has shown that well-being improves with age, and so drawing on the wisdom and experience of senior-aged workers to help mentor younger colleagues can be a key benefit in the workplace. Implementing mentorship programmes could be one way to achieve this. 

“Furthermore, recent organisational research has indicated up to 80% of people in large organisations are not engaged with their work, something that results in huge losses in productivity. We know that improved employee well-being leads to greater commitment to the organisation, improved job satisfaction and a reduced likelihood of job hopping, and ultimately helps to drive business success. 

“And considering the currently record-low unemployment levels across the UK, organisations have to compete fiercely for the best talent. Offering excellent workplace well-being is one way to engage and retain employees, regardless of their age, gender or nationality.” 

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