The modern-day workplace demands more from employees than ever before, and yet, employee health and wellness often falls to the wayside. Studies have shown that creating a healthy workplace environment can drastically improve the productivity, morale, and overall wellbeing of employees.
By implementing workplace wellness programmes, you can foster a positive work environment, improve employee health, and diminish the costs associated with absenteeism and low productivity.
Becoming the new workplace norm
Workplace health and wellness programmes are well on their way to becoming a workplace norm. Every type of company – from small start-ups to large multinationals – are now offering wellness programmes as a part of their overall employee benefits package.
Traditionally, workplaces concentrated their resources for workplace health on physical or safety benefits. Today though, the need for initiatives focused around mental health in the workplace is becoming vital. There are many benefits of workplace wellness programmes such as increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and increased morale.
Research shows that promoting workplace wellness benefits such as physical and mental health has significant benefits for both employers and employees, some of which we have explored below.
Benefits of workplace wellness programmes
When employees are healthier, costs associated with healthcare are dramatically reduced saving both the employee and employer money. Often employees directly contribute to the cost of their employer healthcare plans through premium payments, or indirectly through coinsurance’s.
In one study, total healthcare spending at companies with an employee wellness programme experienced slower growth than companies without a programme. Employees’ health improved through the reduction in chronic disease risk factors saving hundreds of dollars in health care costs per employee annually.
When employees are mentally resilient and are feeling well, they’re able to perform much better, which ultimately helps the company save more money.
Research demonstrates a clear link between physical activity and improved cognitive function, memory, and focus. It has been found that employees who participated in wellness programmes saved their employer more than $350 annually in productivity costs compared to non-participants.
When employees feel valued, they are more engaged and satisfied with their jobs. Offering a wellness programme shows that you care about your employees’ well-being, which can increase loyalty and reduce turnover rates. Engaged employees are also more likely to be innovative and productive, resulting in a more successful business.
Employee wellness programmes that encourage physical activity can improve the overall health and well-being of the workforce. Promoting physical activity in the workplace can encourage employees to be more active, reduce their risk factors for chronic diseases, and improve their mood and overall happiness.
One of the most obvious benefits of a wellness programme is improved health and fitness among employees. Offering regular exercise classes, healthy eating options and stress management techniques can have a significant impact on employee health.
Companies with wellness programmes have the opportunity to engage employees in group activities. Such activities will give employees a sense of feeling connected to the company and each other. A workplace wellness programme engages employees throughout the company and allows employees to develop relationships outside of their immediate work circle and expand their social network.
Workplace wellness programmes typically offer team-building activities, which can improve teamwork and collaboration among employees. By participating in group activities such as fitness challenges or volunteering events, employees can form stronger bonds and work better together. This can result in a more cohesive team and ultimately, a more successful business.
Sense of accomplishment
Many workplace wellness programmes include competitive elements. Activity, weight loss, and healthy eating challenges are all common wellness initiatives that involve employees tracking their progress and comparing it to others. Setting targets associated with these competitions gives employees goals to work towards and provides a sense of satisfaction and achievement when they meet them.
Workplace wellness programmes can help develop a sense of achievement in employees, giving them additional intrinsic motivation and enabling them to perform better.
The workplace can be a great forum for learning, changing, and enforcing habits. Providing things like fitness classes and healthy eating options encourages employees to make healthy choices throughout the workday. Having the opportunity to make healthy decisions combined with being surrounded by like-minded peers makes it easier to develop long-lasting healthy routines and behaviours.
Recruitment and retention
Having a strong wellness programme can be a powerful recruitment tool. Prospective employees are attracted to companies that value their employees’ well-being and offer resources for improving their health. Additionally, retention rates may increase as employees feel more invested in the company and its culture, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming hiring processes.
Positive corporate image
Offering a wellness programme can also improve your company’s public image. Companies that prioritize employee well-being are perceived as socially responsible and caring, leading to positive press coverage and improved customer perceptions. This can ultimately have a positive impact on sales and revenue.
Stress management is a key part of overall health and wellness. Stressful situations and a lack of stress management make employees more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours. Workplace wellness activities like walking meetings, mindfulness breaks, and fitness classes can provide employees with a healthy outlet for stress during the workday. A good introduction to areas like this can be covered in a workplace wellness workshop too.
Learning how to manage daily stressors in your life can help employees in many ways, making them more productive, and also ensuring that they remain capable of dealing with various kinds of issues that pop up now and then.
Start planning for workplace wellbeing today
Healthcare costs are a major factor for many companies and workplace wellness programmes have a proven ability to reduce these. A structured and engaging wellness programme can yield many tangible and intangible benefits and is the right investment for the health of employees as well as the business’s bottom line.
Incorporating a wellness programme into your workplace can have numerous benefits for both employees and the company as a whole. From improving health and fitness, reducing stress and absenteeism, to improving teamwork and collaboration, the benefits of workplace wellness programmes are clear.