A recent workplace study brings new support for the old adage that all business hinges on good relationships. A three-year survey of 10,000 people by The Myers-Briggs Company asked participants to rank six factors of workplace wellness. These included positive emotions, relationships, engagement, meaning, accomplishment, and negative emotions. Healthy relationships with coworkers was valued most highly across nearly all 16 MBTI personality types.

The study looked at workplace well-being across diverse regions, occupations and age. Of the 10,000 people surveyed, 131 countries, six languages, 16 MBTI types and 23 broad occupation categories were represented. Participants ranged in age from 18–86, with the average age being 43. Respondents completed an online survey evaluating their workplace well-being and the most effective activities used at work (and outside of work) to enhance their well-being.

Well-being or “flourishing” was defined as more than just feelings of happiness. The six elements of well-being were categorized in the following specific ways: positive emotions (frequent feelings of happiness, contentment and pleasure), relationships (mutual feelings of caring, support and satisfaction), engagement (deep psychological connection and absorption in an activity or cause), meaning (having a sense of purpose and direction) and accomplishment (pursuing success or mastery for its own sake) and negative emotions (low levels of anxiety, pessimism and depression).

Does Personality Type Affect Well-Being?

The well-known Myers-Briggs typology is composed of four pairs of opposite preferences: extraversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling and judging or perceiving. The four different areas of personality result in sixteen broad personality types. Respondents completed the MBTI instrument and verification process to obtain a personality type corresponding to one of the 16 personality types. Despite the wide variety of personality types and preferences, having congenial exchanges with co-workers and colleagues was top-rated as critical across all types.

Culturally, participants from Australia/New Zealand and Latin America reported the highest levels of well-being, while participants in Asia reported the lowest overall well-being, demonstrating that people from distinctly different cultures, like Australia/New Zealand and Latin America, can have very similar levels of workplace well-being. The survey highlights that culture may have less of an effect on workplace well-being than once thought.

10 Secrets to Managing your Multilingual Global Workforce

Well-Being Benefits Organizations, Too

The survey points out that it naturally follows that the more satisfied an employee is, the higher their normative (obligation to remain with the organization) commitment and affective (emotional attachment and identification with the organization) commitment. Higher levels of well-being also correlated with increased individual and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), like more discretionary effort helping co-workers and advancing organizational objectives. The study also stresses that some research indicates that up to 80% of people in large organizations are not engaged with their work. By prioritizing the well-being of employees, they in turn will likely receive a committed worker who doesn’t seek employment elsewhere.

Where Fluency Corp Comes In

The sooner your expat can interact comfortably, the sooner those workplace friendships start to blossom, which will lead to more talk-time, which means your employees will be communicating more effectively. What follows is a greater likelihood that they’ll see the relocation out and form meaningful bonds to your organization. Win-win! Expats need some tender loving care, especially in those early days of transition. Reach out to us to learn how you can support them and prevent relocations failures. We’re here for you, in any language, country or schedule.