Workplace wellness, sometimes called corporate wellness, isn’t a new concept or incentive for employers and employees. However, with economic downturns and businesses trying to cut costs, it’s not surprising that workplace wellness programs are the first to get sidelined. It’s unfortunate to see, mainly because we know from boatloads of research that these programs are effective and impactful. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s dig into what workplace wellness means and why it should matter to you.
Whether you are in the C-Suite, an entrepreneur, or an employee who advocates for work and life balance, implementing supportive, healthful ways to curate your employees’ wellness is a win-win. In today’s complex and competitive business environment, employee well-being is a moral imperative and a strategic asset. Corporate or workplace wellness programs designed to promote employee health and well-being have emerged as a critical tool for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Workplace Wellness Benefits for Employees.
Workplace wellness programs can offer a variety of benefits for employees. First, there is improved physical health. Wellness programs can help employees reduce their risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. They can support employees in their efforts to maintain a healthy weight, improve their sleep habits, manage stress, and more.
Second, they can promote mental well-being. Wellness programs can help employees reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and can help employees improve their mood, creativity, and focus.
Another way that workplace wellness programming can benefit employees is by fostering a positive work environment. When investing in employee well-being, businesses demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ health and happiness. This activity can create a more positive and supportive work environment, increasing employee satisfaction.
The Positive Impact Workplace Wellness Initiatives can have on your Bottom Line.
Workplace wellness programs are shown to reduce healthcare costs. Wellness initiatives promote healthy habits and work on preventing chronic diseases; they can help businesses reduce healthcare costs, presenteeism, and absenteeism. Presenteeism is lost productivity when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace due to illness, injury, or other conditions. A 2022 study by the Rand Corporation found that workplace wellness programs can reduce healthcare costs by $132 per employee per year on average. Further, a 2019 study by the Mayo Clinic found that workplace wellness programs can lead to an average 28% reduction in healthcare costs. They also have a 26% increase in productivity on average. This same study also found that these programs can improve employee morale and decrease presenteeism.
Employees who are more physically and mentally healthy are more productive, engaged, and effective, and greater overall productivity and engagement can improve your bottom line. A 2020 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that workplace wellness programs can increase productivity by an average of 12%. Engaging in workplace wellness programs can lead to increased employee motivation, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Along with this, you can improve employee retention.
Improve Employee Satisfaction.
Investing in employee well-being can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover, saving your business the significant costs of hiring and training new employees. To prove this point, a 2021 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that workplace wellness programs can reduce employee turnover by a whopping 10%. And a more recent 2022 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that workplace wellness programs can increase employee satisfaction by an average of 15%.
The big picture is that it is an investment in your business, not just your employees. Prioritize the well-being of your workforce, and you can directly create a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment. Companies with solid workplace wellness benefits are more attractive to their current and potential employees, which can help you recruit and retain top talent. Ask yourself: does your wellness initiative enhance your brand internally?
What Strategies Will Help You Have a Thriving Wellness Program?
Begin with understanding that you don’t want a cookie-cutter program. First, start with a goal. What do you want to achieve with your wellness program? Are you aiming to reduce healthcare costs, improve employee morale, or increase productivity? Or is there something else pressing that is specific to your business?
Next, remember that you want to cultivate a personalized program. Conduct a study to understand your employees’ needs and concerns through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews. Third, plan to offer various wellness programs, such as health screenings, fitness classes or personal training, nutrition workshops, stress management techniques, and mental health counseling. You want to offer a variety of initiatives while also making them easy for employees to participate in. Fourth, regularly assess the effectiveness of your workplace wellness programs by measuring and evaluating effectiveness. Be open to changes as you continue to learn about your employees.
Investing in workplace wellness is not just good; it’s good business for your bottom line. When you prioritize the health and well-being of your employees, your business will reap significant benefits. As the business landscape evolves, workplace wellness will become a crucial factor in the success and sustainability of small and medium-sized business enterprises.
If you want to learn more about how we can support you in your efforts with workplace wellness matters, please reach out today! You can begin with a small group fitness class or a nutrition-guided lunch and learn. Ask yourself: how will you provide your staff with a program to help them take you to the next level?
- Rand Corporation (2022). Workplace wellness programs can reduce healthcare costs.
- Mayo Clinic (2019). Workplace wellness leads to a reduction in healthcare costs and much more joy
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (2020). Workplace wellness programs can increase productivity.
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (2021). Reduce employee turnover with workplace wellness programs.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)(2022). Workplace wellness programs can increase employee satisfaction.
Written by Marie Barker, CPT, FRCms, NBC-HWC
Are you ready to unlock your company’s workplace wellness benefits? Reach out to us today.