What is QVT?
The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which appeared in the 1960s, is now a major concern for all companies. Instinctively, when we talk about CSR, we immediately think of the environmental aspects of this concept. In reality, taking social aspects into account, and in particular the working conditions of employees, is now a key criterion in order to be able to fully qualify a company as responsible. These social aspects are grouped around the QVT (Quality of Life at work). This notion finds its source in the Anglo-Saxon world (“Quality of working life”). A definition of QVT is proposed by the ANI in 2013 (L’Accord national interprofessionnel) as “a feeling of well-being at work perceived collectively and individually which encompasses the atmosphere, the culture of the company, the interest of work, working conditions, the feeling of involvement, the degree of autonomy and accountability, equality, the right to make mistakes granted to everyone, recognition and appreciation of the work carried out”
Since the beginning of the health crisis and the growing psychological distress among employees, adopting a QWL approach has been at the center of companies’ concerns.
- Why should QVT become a new business standard?
The health crisis, a catalyst for a need for QVT
The COVID-19 crisis and the successive confinements have underlined the importance of subjects relating to QWL. Indeed, telework, the imbalance between private life and professional life and the overflow of information are, among others, the reasons for which the need for well-being at work has increased. The psychological consequences are felt by all employees around the world, more or less strongly. According to the Annual Illness Absenteeism Barometer 2020 provided by Malakoff Humanis, the rate of employees arrested for psychological disorders, it went from 9% at the start of 2020 to 14% during confinement, then to 18% since deconfinement. Among the most impacted functions, we obviously find the nursing staff but also the commercial functions , which would be on average 30% above the emotional distress threshold according to the Supermood media.
Excerpt from the Supermood infographic “Social impact of the health crisis on the French working population”
A survey carried out by the IFOP (French Institute of Public Opinion) also reveals that the health crisis has transformed the representation of work for 58% of employees in the French population. Many are now questioning the founding values of our collective organization. 81% of employees hoist well-being at work to the top of their expectations, a figure that has changed drastically since the start of the health crisis. Employees today approach work in a new way. QVT then becomes a priority and strategic issue for all companies and today places priority on occupational health and safety.
QVT, undisputed performance lever
Faced with this situation, investing in QWL is a way of preparing for the post-crisis period , but above all, of increasing one’s chances as a company to emerge from the crisis. Indeed, the well-being of employees is an essential condition. QVT issues are multiple.
It would seem that employers have everything to gain by improving the quality of life of their employees within their company. Indeed, QVT and performance seem to be more than linked. This idea is already present in 1929 with the work of Elton Meyo , considered one of the founding fathers of the sociology of work. It proves at the time that the association of employees with the company’s objectives, the creation of group cohesion and initiative-taking have positive effects on productivity .
This idea of increased productivity is also present in the definition of QVT by Anact, the national agency for the improvement of working conditions. It is defined there as “an approach aimed at combining performance and employee well-being .” According to the Bloom At Work media, a company whose employees are fulfilled is not only more productive than the average (43% more in 2019), but its employees are also 86% more creative and deploy 65% more energy in their work. work. This increase in performance is linked to better quality work and therefore more satisfied customers. Thus, the challenge is to obtain a more efficient, more motivated, more fulfilled and more creative team. In this case, by focusing on QWL, companies improve the working atmosphere and the social climate, and thus increase the commitment of their employees while reducing the rate of absenteeism.
QVT also has an impact on society . Indeed, the various practices linked to it – professional gender equality, diversity, inclusion, professional-personal balance, mobility, etc. – can allow, if they are applied or not, to contribute to form the subjects of society and to participate in a social evolution.
How to set up and measure a QVT approach to improve working conditions in your company?
The Anact-Aract network materialized the QVT by a daisy composed of 6 petals. This tool allows you to simply observe at a glance the 6 dimensions of QVT, explained below. To set up a QVT approach, it is important that the company takes measures in each of the following 6 areas:
- Work relations & the social climate (the organization of internal meetings, the quality of break times and places, the role of the authorities, etc.)
- Occupational health : return interviews after a long absence, the workplace environment, occupational risks, etc.
- Skills & career paths : individual interviews, integration path, employability, access to training systems, etc.
- Professional equality for all : balance between private life and professional life, fairness in the treatment of employees, professional equality between men and women, etc.
- Participative management : possibility of discussing work, organization of employee absences, participation in change projects, right to make mistakes, etc.
- The content of the work the autonomy to act on his work, the means to carry out the work, the clarity of the instructions, the distribution of the workload etc.
When we talk about QWL, this last dimension – that of content at work – seems to be the least obvious. QVT often evokes in the minds of employees the environment around the work but little about the work itself, whereas the latter is of capital importance. Companies often deal little or not enough with the essence of QWL, which resides much more in the work than in its environment. It would seem that the Quality of Life at Work is also the Quality of Life at Work . The role of any company, especially in the current context, is to ensure that work preserves the integrity – physical, mental and moral – and the health of employees. The main characteristics of this work content are autonomy and the search for meaning, which are real drivers for employees. Indeed, a company where employees find meaning in their work is a company that has already carried out a good part of the QVT approach.
QVT, a shift not to be missed
Thus, the current health context and the changes in the organization of work that it generates pushes companies to respond to vital issues of economic performance without neglecting social performance . QVT is a complex subject that must be approached differently depending on the context and the existence or not of previous practices. Missing the shift in QVT is taking the risk of employee disengagement . This approach must be integrated into the strategy and day-to-day management of all companies over the long term. Improving living together and well-being at work is also a way of going further around the CSR** approach , possibly already implemented within the company.
ESCadrille Toulouse Junior Conseil can help you set up a QVT approach within your company. Our 43 years of experience have taught us to constantly innovate, so that today we know how to adapt to each project and each company in order to best support you. The implementation of a QVT approach will also depend on your possible past or current experience in this field. Carrying out a Social Climate Audit and supporting you in setting up a QVT barometer will allow you to probe and analyze the personal needs of each of your employees.
Article written by INÈS BABOUCHE, 2021.