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Saturday, December 9, 2023

First HP Work relationship Index shows majority of people worldwide have unhealthy relationship with work

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HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) today unveiled groundbreaking findings from its first HP Work Relationship Index, a comprehensive study that explores employees’ relationships with work around the world. The study, which surveyed more than 15,600 respondents across various industries in 12 countries, reveals the world’s relationship with work is at a breaking point, and its effects are pervasive.

According to a statement from HP, “There is a huge opportunity to strengthen the world’s relationship with work in ways that are both good for people and good for business,” said Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP Inc. “As leaders, we must always reject the false choice between productivity and happiness. The most successful companies are built on cultures that enable employees to excel in their careers while thriving outside of work.”

The study analyzed 50+ aspects of people’s relationships with work, including the role of work in their lives, their skills, abilities, tools, and workspaces, and their expectations of leadership. The study also examined the impact work has on employee well-being, productivity, engagement, and culture. Through this, HP developed its Work Relationship Index, which is a measure of the world’s relationship with work that can be tracked over time. It found that just 27% of knowledge workers currently have a healthy relationship with work.

In this first-of-its-kind study, HP engaged with business leaders, IT decision-makers, and knowledge workers to gain insights into the factors that drive meaningful, productive, and purposeful work experiences. The findings spotlight the negative impacts an unhealthy relationship with work has on an employee’s life and an employer’s business.

When employees are not happy with their relationship with work, it takes a toll on business.

Morale and Engagement: Knowledge workers report less productivity (34%), more disengagement at work (39%), and greater feelings of disconnection (38%).
Retention: Even when employees feel neutral about their relationship with work, more than 71% consider leaving the company. When they’re not happy at all, that number rises to 91%.
 
Unhealthy relationships at work can impact employees’ well-being.

Mental: More than half (55%) of these employees struggle with their self-worth and mental health, reporting low self-esteem and feeling like failures.
Emotional: These issues naturally affect other aspects of their lives, with 45% noting that their personal relationships with friends and family suffer, and more than half (59%) are too drained to pursue their personal passions.
Physical: Mental and emotional health can make it harder to maintain physical well-being. 62% of employees report trouble maintaining healthy eating, working out, and getting sufficient sleep.
 
Identifying the Drivers Behind a Healthy Relationship with Work 

Employees’ expectations of work have changed significantly, particularly over the past two to three years, according to nearly 60% of respondents. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed noted that their expectations of how they are treated at work and in the workplace have also increased.

The research examined more than 50 factors contributing to a healthy relationship with work, identifying six core drivers that represent critical focus areas and key imperatives for business leaders and comprise the Index that will be tracked over time.

1. Fulfillment: Employees yearn for purpose, empowerment, and genuine connection to their work, but just 29% of knowledge workers currently experience these aspects consistently. To adapt to evolving workforce expectations, businesses must prioritize employee fulfillment through increased voice and agency.

2. Leadership: New ways of working demand new leadership styles, according to 68% of business leaders, yet only one in five workers feel leaders have evolved their styles accordingly.  Cultivating emotional intelligence and transparent, empathetic leadership is crucial for today’s workplace.

 3. People-centricity: Only 25% of knowledge workers consistently receive the respect and value they feel they deserve, and even fewer are experiencing the flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance they seek. To address this, leaders must put a visible emphasis on putting people first and placing their teams at the center of decision-making.

4. Skills: While 70% of knowledge workers value strong power and technical skills, only 31% feel consistently confident in their proficiency in either. ‘Best-practice’ businesses have an opportunity to gain a vital skills-development and employee engagement edge by investing in holistic training and support.

5. Tools: Today’s workers want a say in the technology and tools their employer provides, and they want that technology to be inclusive. However, confidence that companies will implement the right tools to support hybrid work is low, at just 25%. No longer just a utility, the technology portfolio is emerging as an important driver of employee engagement as well as connection and enablement.

6. Workspace: Knowledge workers want a seamless experience as they move between work locations and a choice in where they work each day. Effective hybrid workspaces, easy transitions, flexibility, and autonomy will be pivotal in demonstrating trust in employees and fostering a positive work experience.

Trust and Emotional Connection Are Now Key to Attracting and Retaining Workers  

The Work Relationship Index shows that this is a pivotal time to redefine the world’s relationships with work. Greater trust and emotional connection in the workplace were strong and recurring themes across the six core drivers.Almost three in four business leaders acknowledge that emotionally intelligent leadership is the only way a leader can be successful going forward. Significantly, the study found that emotional intelligence and increased trust and agency hold considerable weight with employees: 83% say they’re willing to earn less money to find an employer that values these factors.

Strong workplace culture: Knowledge workers would take an 11% pay cut to work somewhere with empathetic, emotionally intelligent leadership and above-average employee engagement and fulfillment.
Flexibility: The same group would give up 13% of their salary to work somewhere that lets them work where or when they want.
 

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