Health and quality of life at work: an issue for the future of the company?

Since March 31, 2022, the Health Law has brought new obligations to companies in terms of quality of life and working conditions. How can this obligation be turned into an opportunity and a challenge for the future and performance?

“We have moved from curative to preventive”. Here is how Alain Coulais ensured the launch of the Agora Mutualiste on the quality of life at work (QVT) this June 14, 2022 in Lyon. The Harmonie Mutuelle Atlantique territory delegate made a direct allusion to the Health law, which modifies the negotiation on QVT within companies, since the entry into force of most of its provisions on March 31, 2022. This law establishes such a reinforcement of risk prevention in companies that it is now appropriate to speak of QVCT (Quality of life and working conditions). Among the changes: the Health Law includes psychosocial risks in risk assessment.

Why this development? “In 2019, an assessment of the first national interprofessional agreement (ANI) was established between employees and employers, explained Anne-Cécile Lombardy, regional director ARACT Auvergne Rhône-Alpes . Together, they realized that this first agreement only mentioned peripheral work conditions — break rooms, relaxation sessions, etc. — and not the content of the work itself. Thus, the new Health Law incorporates, for example, concepts such as workload, new forms of employment or even career paths.  From an obligation, the entrepreneur can turn it into an asset for the future of his business.

The entrepreneur must know how to take into account the new expectations

For managers, these developments are not without consequences. They are even part of a general movement to transform expectations in relation to work. The company must comply with it and can make it a vector of development and loyalty. “In the current context of shortage of human resources and difficulties in recruiting, the company that makes the difference is the one that knows how to listen and analyze the expectations of its employees  ,” said Axel Gaset during this mutualist Agora. Chartered accountant, president Provence-Corse and member of the national office of the IFEC(French Institute of Chartered Accountants and Statutory Auditors), he considers it necessary for a company director to ask himself the following question: “what do employees want to do with our company? “. “You have to let the employees project themselves”, he continued, mentioning as an example the integration of voluntary employees in the choice of a structuring digital tool for his firm. The chartered accountant added that “  companies need managers who know how to take into account new expectations , in particular those of new generations”.

Telecommuting: what balance to define?

Telework is of course at the heart of these new expectations. “With him, the work entered the house and personal organizations,” said Alain Coulais. What boundaries should be established between the two? “. For Anne-Cécile Lombardy, we should rather speak of a hybrid organization (vs. “telework”), in the sense that it is a question of orchestrating the best possible alternation between face-to-face and distance learning. “To successfully set up this organization, the principle of trust is an essential prerequisite,” she said. At ARACT Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, we have worked a lot with teams and managers so as not to lose the collective spirit or our habits of creating together. The preponderance given to the work delivered rather than to the hours worked is one of the principles retained. »

For his part, Axel Gaset underlined that teleworking has become essential in administrative professions , adding that this “does not create a problem of employee disengagement but rather of over-engagement, with the challenge for the company manager of having to encourage its employees to disconnect”.

“The QVT approach sets the whole company in motion”

Beyond teleworking, the question arises for the entrepreneur of knowing which method to use to generate support. This is where the QVT approach shows its usefulness. “This approach sets all or part of the actors in the company in motion around dimensions such as efficiency at work, the performance of the company, its recognition vis-à-vis the employees or the relations interpersonal, explained Anne-Cécile Lombardy. This setting in motion can be done from specific work situations or through fun-educational methods that make it possible to deal with the issues by transposing themselves into another universe, for example a QVCT escape game (Quality of life and working conditions). work). »

Project manager at ARACT Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Estelle Choisy Droba recalled that the QVCT is a performance lever for the company (it allows in particular to fight against absenteeism) and a guarantee for employees. to sustain their employment.

Philosopher-consultant, Tristan Bitsch pointed out that to obtain happiness in business, it is necessary to be able to articulate the individual stakes (the concern for oneself) with the interpersonal stakes (which promotes relational intelligence). “At the individual level, we need to nurture the meaning of what we do, while at the interpersonal level, the need we have to be happy at work is to dialogue, he underlined. And as Socrates said, dialogue goes through four key values: listening, questioning, argumentation and frankness. »

Dialogue, a key condition for fulfillment

Humans being social animals, dialogue is therefore a key condition for their development.. To structure this approach to listening and dialogue in companies, Harmonie Mutuelle has created Harmonie Potential Human, a diagnostic tool. “On the basis of this very rich diagnosis, based on 150 questions asked of employees, the manager obtains a vision of the level of energy/exhaustion of his employees, of their level of commitment. This makes it possible to identify the factors that energize or exhaust the employees and especially the levers for priority actions and the targets. We are thus defining a suitable action plan with the companies, explained Carole Bourget-Martin, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Harmonie Mutuelle regional director. These can be corporate sports sessions, QVT workshops, stress management, muscle awakening (for example in the face of musculoskeletal disorders), sleep and rhythm of life…”

The prevention officers of the mutual can also support the company in setting up an outsourced social assistance service or implement any action plan in partnership with other players such as ARACT in order to act on the determinants of health. An illustration of the need to move today, in business, from curative to preventive.