Employers dedicate significant time and resources to building and maintaining workplace wellness programs, and for very good reason. Today, more than 80 percent of employers say they’re supporting the physical and emotional health of their workforce, recognizing the benefits that come with doing just that.
Investing in employees’ health is an investment in their long-term ability to help grow the employer’s business—not to mention their happiness and willingness to stick with the company for the long haul. Here’s how having a good wellness program can create an environment that promotes a culture of well-being and contributes to both business and employee longevity.
4 Benefits of Investing in Employee Health and Wellness
There are countless benefits to investing in your employees’ wellness, such as:
1. Attracting and Retaining Talent
Workplace wellness programs are an attractive perk for prospective employees considering working for your company. In fact, 87 percent of employees consider health and wellness packages when choosing an employer. With statistics like this in mind, it’s understandable why so many companies are committed to their employees’ wellness.
Along with attracting new talent and offering a competitive edge, investing in employee wellness will also help you retain talent, ultimately contributing to the longevity and success of your business. After all, it costs employers around approximately 33 percent of an employee’s salary to find a suitable replacement when he or she leaves.
2. Increasing Workplace Productivity
Healthy employees are much more likely to work hard and smart for your business if they’re not distracted by medical issues. Think about it: An employee who’s struggling with depression, migraines, a new diagnosis, or essentially any medical condition that impedes his or her performance is unlikely to be focused and attentive at work.
Wellness programs minimize medical distractions, reducing absenteeism and presenteeism, and in turn, improving productivity. The facts speak for themselves; according to a survey by The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 66 percent of employers offering and measuring wellness efforts reported increased productivity in the workplace.
3. Improving Employee Engagement
Quantum Workplace reported that all three areas of wellness (physical, emotional, and financial) impact employee engagement—and all are equally important, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has introduced new concerns in each area. 66.9 percent of people report higher levels of stress, and 53.8 percent say they’re more emotionally exhausted since the onslaught of the pandemic.
Unfortunately, some employers miss the mark by forgetting to invest in employees’ mental health in addition to their physical and financial well-being. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 46 percent of workers said their company had not proactively communicated the mental health resources available to them.
That being said, when you prioritize the health and well-being of employees—especially across all three areas of wellness—they’ll respond by investing in the health and well-being of your business. Effective, comprehensive wellness programs help boost confidence, raise morale, and motivate employees to be engaged at work.
4. Encouraging Team Collaboration
You may have heard the popular quote by Malcolm X, “When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘we’, even illness becomes wellness.” He wasn’t wrong. Developing a workplace wellness program gives employees more opportunities to develop a sense of community. Studies reveal a positive relationship between workplace wellness and teamwork among employees.
For example, employees can join forces for team wellness initiatives, such as weight-loss competitions, Fitbit contests to see who can get the most steps, group yoga classes on-site, 5K runs for charity, community service days, and athletic leagues. Some companies even host fun fitness challenges, such as team scavenger hunts, which are a highly effective way to engage employees in team-building exercises while also encouraging them to be physically active.
How a Workplace Wellness Program Pays for Itself
A workplace wellness program pays for itself, not only by reducing healthcare costs and unnecessary sick days but also by encouraging your employees to go about their day-to-day responsibilities with greater enthusiasm. When employees are motivated to work harder and smarter for your company—not to mention inspired to stick around for the long haul—the result is nothing but positive for your business and your workforce.
Curious about the steps you can take to kick-start (or step up) your own employee wellness initiatives and whether it makes sense for your company? Take our free wellness assessment to learn more.