Dis-engagement, burnout, and turnover are damaging organizations all over the world, and the trend is not going in the right direction. The negative impact on Mental Health is a reality everywhere and the consequences for businesses are dire.

On average, the worldwide Mental Health Quotient calculated by Sapiens Labs was 65 on a 300 point scale (the higher the score, the better) in 2023, with 27% of the population being distressed or struggling - a lingering aftereffect of COVID from which the world has still not fully recovered. As a comparison, in 2019, the MHQ was at 90, and the distressed/struggling population was 14%. For the younger generations, the lows are even lower and the drops are even higher. We have a problem.

Source: Sapien Labs - The Mental State of the World in 2023

Today, we would like to focus on a country that is struggling like every other on overall mental health but seems to do better in terms of workplace experience and employees wellbeing. This country is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE stands out as an interesting example because of the country's clear intention to focus on wellbeing. Back in 2016, its government launched the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing which sets the tone for both the general population and for the workplace.

In this blog, we delve into some of the impacts of this strategy in order to better understand the connection between wellbeing and employee engagement.

The Power of Workplace Satisfaction and Engagement

It is probable that the UAE's dedication to fostering a positive work environment explains the higher levels of workplace satisfaction and engagement when compared to the rest of the world. A Gallup survey reveals that overall engagement among employees in the UAE went from 19% in 2019 to 30% in 2022, defying global trends and putting the country 10 points higher than worldwide engagement average. This is encouraging, however, it is important to point out the 72% engagement rate that best-practice organizations achieve, so there is still a way to go.

How Employee Engagement Fuels Economic Prosperity

Having more engaged employees contributes to a positive work culture but also drives very tangible economic benefits for organizations. The aforementioned Gallup survey indicates that top-quartile teams in terms of employee engagement experience a 23% positive difference in profit and an 18% positive difference in productivity related to sales. This underscores the significance of prioritizing employee satisfaction and engagement as a strategic imperative for businesses in the UAE, and everywhere in the world.

Prioritizing Workplace Wellbeing

Recognizing the importance of employee wellbeing, the UAE has made significant strides in promoting mental health and work-life balance. Surveys show that 41% of employees strongly agree that their job allows them to spend enough time with family and friends, marking a notable increase from 30% in 2019. Moreover, efforts to alleviate workplace stress have yielded positive results, with a smaller percentage of employees (38%) reporting feeling stressed and burned out compared to almost half (47%) in 2019. Here again - better than in the western world, with room for improvement :-)

The Productivity Payoff of Workplace Wellbeing

The correlation between workplace wellbeing and productivity is undeniable. Studies indicate that engaged employees are 20% more productive than their disengaged counterparts, leading to enhanced organizational performance and profitability. By prioritizing employee wellbeing, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and drive sustainable growth.

Leveraging Interest-Driven Communities to Maximize Workplace Excellence

Next for organizations is to start considering employee wellbeing as a major marker of business performance.

One of the fastest, most effective and sustainable ways to enhance employee wellbeing and job satisfaction is to engage in activities that align with people’s interests and passions. This is what interest-driven communities provide. They give employees an outlet for self-expression, stress relief, and social connection, thereby contributing to developing a culture of care, wellbeing, innovation, motivation, trust and belonging which are the main ingredients to optimize rapid, positive change in any organization.

This is our job at MixR. We are exclusively focusing on making thriving interest-driven communities work for the benefit of organizations, employees, and customers.

Want to learn more about how MixR can help you meet your employee wellbeing goals? Schedule a short meeting with us today.


MixR Team


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