Sometimes, work is just not the place where your employees want to be, they’re day dreaming of a beach vacation or just a relaxing day at home. We’ve all been there; calling in sick when we’re perfectly fine, spending hours on social media, or staring out of a window overlooking passersby going about their days. Time and time again, avoiding company events because we’d rather not get too close to people we don’t trust. And the all too famous, clocking in time just to prove that we were there, but not doing much when we actually settle in. It’s the typical workplace dread for any employee who isn’t happy with his/her job.
How about the employee who takes all of his/her sick days and then some, while maximizing visits to the doctor that is of course, covered by your company’s health insurance? Sometimes necessary, most times, not.
I want you to get your hopes up because I have some great news for you! There is a way to turn your workplace from storm clouds and shadows into the great environment they’ve been dreaming of. Where the grass not only looks greener, but remains green all year round. I’m talking about workplace wellness - one of the smartest, most rewarding investments that any employer can make, and employees (and their bottom line) will love them for.
This is the secret that you absolutely must get in on.
But first, what exactly is “workplace wellness”? In a general sense, it is any effort aimed at improving the all-round health and wellbeing of employees (and their families) within the workplace. To be more specific, it involves well researched health promotion activities, or organisational policies that are designed to support employees’ decision to adopt healthy behaviour, which would lead to reduced health risks and an enhanced quality of life. This is all carried out within a supportive environment, and is strategically aligned with an organisation’s goals.
When it comes to employers, the most costly risk factors for employees’ health are: type 2 diabetes, depression, alcohol abuse, overweight/obesity, high cholesterol, tobacco use, chronic stress, asthma, migraine headaches and physical inactivity. Studies have proven that employees who have such conditions not only have lower than average output, but the quality of what they do produce is less than their comparatively healthier counterparts. In other words, unhealthy and unhappy employees are absent more often and are less productive at work. The wonderful thing is that the opposite is also true.
Now, that all sounds great, but, how can you use this concept of workplace wellness to improve the health and happiness of the people you care about? Or frankly, what’s in it for you as an employer? I’m glad that you asked.
Here are five benefits of investing in a workplace wellness program that will convince you to join this health movement right where you are:
Improved employee health
This is overlooked more than you may think it is. Workplace wellness programs created without employees in mind often yield little to no results. On the other hand, those that are carefully designed based on employees’ wants, corporate needs and desired results are often, if not always, successful in achieving a measurable improvement in the health of employees.
Motivated staff and harmonious relationships
Is it important that the people in your workplace get along? Having a workplace wellness program that is supported by top management (as it should be) creates an environment that is conducive to team work, unity, friendship and harmony. Employees will become more closely connected through engaging in lifestyle changing activities, where they must support each other through moments of strength, weakness and achievement.
When employees believe that they are genuinely cared for by their bosses, they will go above and beyond for their business. Having a wellness program which focusses on their needs, speaks loudly of an employer’s commitment to improving the quality of their employees’ (and their families’) lives. Also worth noting is that when people feel well in their mind, body and spirit, they are able to function more optimally in life. With an effective wellness program, you can certainly expect reduced rates of absenteeism, improved punctuality and an overall increase in the quality and quantity of output.
Reduced medical expenses
This goes without saying, but is absolutely worth mentioning. Although wellness programs require financial resources to ensure their survival, the return on investment is always worth the while. This can be measurably seen in reduced doctoral visits and health insurance claims, and is linked to improved productivity as well.
Enhanced corporate image
Having a company that caters to the health needs of its workers shoots the image of that organisation into orbit. A wellness program that is effectively marketed is not only capable of increasing a company’s attractiveness for the recruitment of the best available talent, but also of giving it a good name. The organisation is not perceived as impersonal and duty oriented, but people based and family focused, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Now the secret is out. I hope that you are able to use these points as you consider your next great move to enhance the health and wellbeing of your employees.