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14th HSE Excellence Europe

The price of (no) well-being

A lot of companies have their corporate culture built on high-pressure principles to reach their financial goals. What they can't see are the hidden costs that come with a stressful working environment. Although we know that a certain amount of stress and pressure can improve employees’ performance, in the long-term it causes more damage than we can imagine.


We will pay more than money
It's proven that the healthcare expenditures of cut-throat, high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than of organizations with positive corporate culture. What is even more mind-bending is the estimation that more than $500 billion is siphoned off of the U.S. economy because of workplace stress. And 550 million workdays are lost annually because of stress on the job! Also there is the disturbing fact that there is a close link between the stress of belonging to a corporate hierarchy and disease – even death. According to one study, the lower someone’s rank in a hierarchy, the higher the possibility of cardiovascular disease and death caused by heart attacks.


3 kinds of costs are in the game
Healthcare expenditures are not the only issue that companies have to deal with. If we go further, a stressful environment and culture of fear also lead to costs due to employee disengagement and due to decreased loyalty. While this kind of culture can bring a certain kind of engagement for some time, it's again the passage of time that will show the dark reality. According to a study by the Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization, disengaged employees had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents and made 60% more errors.

The lack of loyalty represents the third cost. Almost 50% of voluntary turnover comes from a stressful workplace, research says. Can you guess what is the price for one single employee replacement? It's about 20% of that employee's salary.


A positive culture is the basis for well-being
According to Harvard Business Review's research, creating a positive and healthy culture stands on six essential principles:

  • Caring for and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends
  • Supporting and showing kindness and compassion when others are struggling
  • Avoiding blame and forgiving mistakes
  • Inspiring one another
  • Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work
  • Treating one another with respect, gratitude and trust


Which aspects of well-being should we focus on? What steps should we take when implementing well-being? And what are intentions of focusing on well-being within HSE programs? These and more crucial topics will be a part of the special workshop “Why well-being matters,” led by Albano Pereira from Groupe Bel and Carolyn Yeoman from OCAID Wellbeing Ltd. at the 12th annual HSE Excellence Europe conference (15 – 17 May 2018, Lisbon).



For more information about the conference program, browse the event brochure.


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