A group of researchers from the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) have analyzed the practices of maintaining the well-being of the personnel of companies operating in the Russian market. Domestic employers are evolving in their understanding of this issue: from a concern for primarily physical safety, they are moving to an awareness of the importance of well-being in the workplace as an element of public health. The pandemic has helped to strengthen this development.
The research was carried out as part of the research project “Staff well-being as a strategic priority in human resource management”, funded by a grant from GSOM SPbU (ID: 48952438). The experts were representatives of the Department of Organizational Behavior and Personnel Management of the Business School — Antonina Lisovskaya, Sofya Kosheleva, Alexander Denisov and Dmitry Sokolov.
In recent years, one of the trends in the practice of human resource management in developed countries has become the active integration of the concept of "employee well-being" into the organization's management system. In Russia, however, such practices are implemented mainly by large enterprises: both representative offices of international and domestic companies. Specialists in the field of human resource management responsible for the implementation of well-being management practices, compensation and benefit specialists from large (more than 100 employees) companies operating in St. Petersburg and Moscow were involved in the study. They represented organizations in the main business areas — both those that declare well-being management as an integral part of their organizational culture, as well as those that do not have a structured approach to managing employee well-being.
The research has shown that employee well-being issues are relevant for all companies, regardless of the field of activity. Companies use a variety of practices, from maintaining health to employing flexible work schedules. Large companies from the construction, energy, oil and gas sector industries are more characterized by a wish to accumulate points and approach to the well-being of employees. The availability of appropriate programs for an enterprise is a prerequisite for entering the desired ratings. In addition, caring for the welfare of the employee helps to reduce the likelihood of a disability.
Production-related organizations pay more attention to programs to maintain the health of employees, due to the desire to reduce the level of injuries,as well as the number of sick leave days.For companies in the professional services (business) sector, employee well-being programs refer to practices that help maintain team building and competition among employees. Here, the features of the programs are determined by the corporate culture and support of the organization's management.
The specificity of the evolution of understanding of well-being at work from a relatively narrow "work" approach, when attention was mainly paid to occupational health, and employers were interested only in issues related to occupational safety, was also confirmed along with general health. This has led to a broader understanding of workplace well-being as part of public health. The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has only heightened the importance and urgency of maintaining employee well-being.
These research results were presented at the conferences International Congress of Psychology (ICP-2020) and XXII April International Research Conference on Economic and Social Development (2021), and have also been published in the journal Organizational Psychology and a GSOM SPbU research report. Publication is being prepared in an ABS ranked journal and in leading Russian publications in the field of economics and management.