The house of work ability
A lot of things can be of influence on the well-being and vitality of an employee. You can think of the obvious things like physical health and the tasks on the job, but also the click with the values of the company and the individual plays a role. In the theory of ‘the house of work ability’ all aspects are explained in a visual way, as a house! Every floor has a different significance and if a fire were to break out on one of the floors, this will affect the house and most importantly, the roof which stands for the work ability of the employee. Let’s take a tour of the house and see what’s inside!
Ground floor: health
On the ground floor we can find health, both physical health as mental health. This is of course a very important basis to be able to work. And if something is wrong on this floor, this could have a big impact. If an employee is not sleeping well, this can influence their concentration and energy during the day. Or if someone might be worrying about job security or a sick family member, this also can influence their focus. Therefore, it’s important to take some time to reflect on these things and take steps accordingly, if needed.
First floor: competencies
On the first floor we can find the employees competencies and development. During any career tasks, responsibilities or systems with which you work will change. A new way of working can mean that some employees will need a bit more support in learning how to cope. Or a new team member in a team needs to learn how the team works and what the team’s habits and quirks are. If people don’t feel capable enough or miss knowledge, they can feel insecure and stressed and this might lead to people not speaking up or being less proactive.
Second floor: values and motivators
This floor is all about motivation, job satisfaction and the values of the employee. These aspects have an influence on the organizational culture and the engagement of the employee with the company. If the values of the company do not overlap with the personal values and ideas of the employee, some tension can arise. For example, if an employee is very passionate about sustainability and the processes in the company take no action towards sustainability or even are very unsustainable, that employee can feel uncomfortable and conflicted. This can result into less engagement and commitment to the company. Also, safety and appreciation play an important role on this floor. When an employee does not feel valued, motivation decreases and the enjoyment of the job is at stake.
Third floor: work tasks
All the way to the top is the job itself: the task and the working environment. Often you see that a manager has a lot of influence on the employees they (should) lead. If the job description is vague or tasks keep changing, an employee can feel lost or confused. Or if a manager starts micromanaging certain tasks, the employee can feel tense and constantly checked, while autonomy over one’s tasks can lead to more room for development. By opening the conversation about this and checking with an employee how the daily things are going and if anything is going in the wrong direction, the employee can develop further.
Often you see that the model of the house of work ability also has a fire escape or a balcony on the outside of the house. This symbolizes the connection between work and the outside world or private life. The social network, family circumstances and societal influences also have their effects on an employee. For example, if an employee is an expat, these circumstances, like being away from family and friends, can lead to loneliness or longing for social interactions which in turn can lead to stress. These feelings can also influence the employee in their work life.
For a happy and fulfilling work life there are a lot of stairs to walk and floors to explore. How do you handle this? Stay in conversation and make sure that the right support is given where needed. For a resilient roof, you need a sturdy foundation.
Want to help your employees improving their well-being?
At Inuka Coaching we offer a WHO-validated 5-minute self scan for employees. That way, they discover if they are resilient or at-risk for chronic stress, burn-out or even long-term dropout. After the scan they can immediately book their own personal coach. The one-on-one coaching sessions are online, anonymous and deliver measurable results: after 4 sessions, 70% leaves the “at-risk” group and becomes resilient again.
Interested? Get in touch or try for free via the yellow button on the top of this page!