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Healthy and happy employees create a thriving workplace

We produce better results at work when our assignments feel meaningful and the environment is enjoyable. This is one of the main conclusions of a case study which sought to measure employee well-being and productivity in Nordea. The study was conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere.

The study has close ties to the recent evolution in the Finnish financial sector. As working methods and technology undergo changes, investing in employee well-being is an economically sound practice. The study found that a healthy employee can be up to 25% more productive than a fatigued one. The study also confirmed that open interaction between senior management, line managers, and customer service personnel improves wellbeing and increases productivity at all levels.

"When respondents felt that technology is useful for their work and not a burden, they experienced more work engagement. And it is, of course, quite obvious that we perform better if we enjoy being at work and feel that our work is meaningful and valued", summarises Juha Eskelinen, researcher at Aalto University.

The study is one of the many positive outcomes of the financial sector's ongoing effort to improve workplace well-being, productivity and competitiveness in cooperation with employee and employer organisations. The project started in 2013, and the level of cooperation is unusually extensive even on a European scale. It is vital that this work continues in the future.

"The study built an even stronger foundation for further concrete developments in the sector. It enabled more discussion about the elements of workplace well-being, the importance of education and training, and about how well-being and results can be further improved in the future", notes Tarja Kallonen, head of financial work and competence at Finance Finland.

The study surveyed workplace well-being and experiences of work for various areas of business in Nordea. It also measured the productivity of 300 customer service professionals from March 2017 to February 2018. The productivity analysis was based on the employees' cumulative working hours and outcomes from the customer interaction.

The study report is available here.