EN | DE | ES | IT | MK | PL


 The ‘WAI’ (Work-ability Index) Questionnaire


See tool

General info

Developed by CIIP (Italian inter-association consultation for prevention), the Work Ability Index (WAI) Questionnaire includes a very detailed list of questions aimed at investigating among employees not only the general level of satisfaction with the work but also, and most importantly, if the tasks carried out on a daily basis in their workplace are affecting (or acted already) their well-being, physical and/or mental health.

The tool does not seem to have a specific target, meaning it can be addressed to management staff as employees. At the same time, it does not seems referring to any specific industry. External consultants as well managing directors can rely on it very efficiently and effectively.

Benefits of the tool

The overall layout is very clear and easy to understand. As already mentioned, the tool can potentially find many different applications in various ecosystems since it is not tailored on any specific industry/target group. Health and well-being are universal concerns, as such, questions are designed to be as inclusive as possible. Finally, the tool is also particularly beneficial because it takes into consideration both dimensions of well-being in work places: physical and mental.

How to use the tool

The tool is very self-explanatory and user-friendly. But the actual use of results can really depend on the final recipient. The tone of responses might diverge quite significantly if the targets is represented by workers (i.e., ‘blue collars’) rather than clerks. But this represents also the most interesting scenario.
For the sake of convenience let’s pretend that the management wishes to investigate the fatigue-feeling that his/her staff perceive in relation to their job and if they are truly satisfied with their conditions.
Workers are typically invested in manual efforts, while generally speaking, clerks’ occupations are more ‘mental’ demanding. By comparing the two groups, management can have a very comprehensive impression on which specific function of their value chain harms staff’s well-being the most.
The model can be even further refined if the gender and generational variables are taken into consideration. This might be relevant and useful for SMEs at higher degrees of internal diversity. Results can be finally crossmatched to identify the categories at risk, and from there, design and implemented consistent safeguard plans.
If the case results depict a concerning picture, Management should consider the opportunity to conduct follow-up interviews and focus groups with representatives, groups leaders, etc.
From what we saw, there is not a defined guideline on how to use the WAI questionnaire. It is as very flexible tool that can be readapted based on the specific context of reference and the primary motivations behind its use.


Management as well as employees (workers, clerks, etc.)


15 min

 Related training material