Understanding the Value of Workplace Wellness Culture
Employers are embracing employee wellbeing platforms and the importance of creating a wellness culture. This is primarily due to their proven ability to reduce costs and increase profitability.
Beyond Health Insurance: The Untapped Benefits of Wellness
This shift is not merely a trend but is backed by substantial data illustrating its impact on costs and profitability. According to an umbrella PDF review by the Irish Government, workplace wellbeing programmes show a positive return on investment (ROI) and cost-benefit ratio.
The value of workplace wellness has also been demonstrated to go well beyond the obvious benefit of lower health insurance premiums. Some examples include:
Reduced Absenteeism: Companies with corporate wellness programs report a 25% reduction in absenteeism and sick leave.
Employee Retention: Despite only 9% of employers currently measuring ROI from their health and wellbeing programme, 59% plan to do so, indicating its growing importance.
Employee Satisfaction: According to a study from the University of California, employees who are healthy, both physically and mentally, are more productive.
The Impact of Employee Happiness on Productivity
One study shows that happier employees can be up to 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. These benefits of workplace wellness create a competitive edge in companies worldwide, resulting in longer-term success.
How Do Companies Usually Approach Employee Wellness?
When approaching workplace wellness, many companies focus on disease management programs that address the more obvious causes of poor employee wellness: smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
There is no question that these issues must be addressed while striving for a healthier workforce. However, it’s more important to look at the entire workplace culture and whether it’s supporting employees’ health.
Understanding your workplace culture is the first step in creating a holistic wellness program. Conduct surveys to gauge employee satisfaction, stress levels, and their views on wellness initiatives. Use this data to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.
What Does a Comprehensive Wellness Culture Look Like?
Creating a culture of health and wellness is about much more than healthy eating options and fitness challenges. It’s about ensuring that mental health and wellness are a priority and that decisions are made with employee well-being in mind. One way to prioritise mental health is through specialised training such as our mental health workshops.
To start the culture shift, organisations can first make sure that health and wellness are part of their corporate values and that those values are clearly defined and expressed.
The Role of Corporate Values in Employee Wellness
Corporate values guide decision-making and will dictate everything from the number of flex days employees are given each year to the type of ergonomic workstations available. They set the tone for HR policies and directly impact employee well-being. Here’s how:
Guidance for Decision-Making: Corporate values dictate the benefits and work environment an employee can expect. For example, a value like “Employee Health and Well-being” could lead to comprehensive health insurance and regular health check-ups.
Roadmap for HR: These values serve as a guide for HR when developing and implementing wellness programs. If the company values “Employee Growth,” HR might roll out continuous learning opportunities.
7 Practical Steps to Cultivate a Wellness Culture
Creating a wellness culture in the workplace is a conscious, long-term commitment. However, there are several things a company can do to develop a culture of wellness.
For a comprehensive approach, you might consider investing in corporate wellness programs that offer a range of services tailored to your organisation’s needs. Let’s explore this in more detail below.
1. Conduct a Wellness Audit
Before implementing any wellness initiatives, it’s crucial to understand the current state of wellness in your organisation. Conduct a comprehensive audit that includes employee surveys, health screenings, and an evaluation of existing wellness programs, if any. Use this data to identify areas that need improvement.
2. Involve the Leadership
For any wellness program to be successful, it needs the backing of the organisation’s leadership. Involve critical decision-makers in the planning and implementation process. Their support will provide the necessary resources and send employees a strong message that wellness is a priority.
3. Encourage Physical Activity Among Employees
Physical activity is essential for employees, and you should find ways to get them moving throughout their day. Boosting physical activity at work has positively affected employee emotional well-being, increasing alertness and concentration and serving as a powerful energy boost. Walking meetings, standing desks, or in-person meetings can all help keep employees active.
4. Offer Nutritional Choices in the Workplace
Meals that are company-catered should include fresh, healthy options. If you have vending machines, seek a provider that can provide healthy options. This encourages employees to keep an eye on their daily nutrition.
5. The Importance of Social Connections at Work
Sometimes, the social and emotional part of wellness gets forgotten. Companies can help employees make social connections by holding events like potluck lunches, team sports, or an informal morning coffee break.
Social connections are essential for employee health, so much so that a lack of social connection is twice as dangerous a health factor as smoking.
6. Provide Resources for Employee Wellness Goals
Most employees understand why wellness is essential but may not know where to start to reach their goals. Company-curated resources covering different aspects of wellness can make help more accessible for employees.
7. Reap the Benefits of Flexible Working Arrangements
If your business can accommodate flex time or flexible working arrangements, it can encourage work/life balance. Flexible schedules help decrease the workplace stress responsible for lost productivity, absenteeism, and associated high costs.
A wellness culture in the workplace doesn’t demand long hours that will burn employees out. It supports and respects that employees have personal lives, provides them with manageable workloads, and gives them time to recharge.
The Long-Term Benefits of a Wellness-Centric Philosophy
A company wellness philosophy that only focuses on disease management and reducing healthcare costs is missing a huge opportunity to cultivate happier and more productive employees.
Long-term and sustainable wellness results are a product of creating a culture that prioritises the health and happiness of employees. Let’s look at some examples.
Companies that invest in a holistic wellness culture see lower turnover rates. Employees are more likely to stay where they feel valued and well cared for. For instance, implementing programs that focus on mental well-being can make employees feel more supported and less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere.
mployees who are physically and mentally well are more focused and efficient in their tasks. A wellness-centric philosophy can contribute to a more productive work environment by implementing mindfulness training or ergonomic workspace design initiatives.
Enhanced Team Morale
A positive work environment is a natural outcome of a wellness-centric philosophy. Programs encouraging team-building, such as group fitness challenges or community service projects, can significantly boost team morale and engagement.
With a focus on overall wellness, employees are less likely to take sick days. This reduces the costs associated with absenteeism and ensures that projects aren’t delayed due to unplanned absences.
Innovation and Creativity
mployees in a wellness-focused environment often feel more comfortable sharing ideas and thinking outside the box. Consider implementing “innovation days,” where employees can work on projects outside their regular job scope, fostering creativity and potentially leading to new business solutions.
Lower Healthcare Costs
While the focus isn’t solely on reducing healthcare costs, a natural outcome of a healthier workforce is fewer medical expenses for the company. Programs that focus on preventive health can significantly reduce long-term healthcare costs.
Companies prioritising wellness offer flexible working arrangements, contributing to a better work-life balance. This, in turn, improves job satisfaction and can make your company more attractive to potential employees.
Community and Social Benefits
A wellness-centric company often extends its philosophy to community engagement. Whether through charity runs or sustainability initiatives, focusing on wellness can enhance the company’s image and contribute to social well-being.
Learn More About Integrating Wellness into Your Company’s Culture
For more information on integrating workplace wellness into your company culture and why it is essential, download our mployee Engagement Ebook.