Putting your employee’s well-being at the forefront of company policy doesn’t immediately sound like the easiest way to generate profit. But the truth is that happier employees lead to better communication, healthier employees, and a more supportive environment. Over the lifetime of an individual employee, this amounts to substantial savings worth working towards.
Not only that, but a healthy employee is far more likely to be productive, efficient, and engaged.
What Is Employee Wellness?
Employee wellness focuses on what an employer can do to positively impact their employees' physical and mental well-being.
Employee wellness also seeks to minimize health risks that tend to affect a workforce, such as smoking, obesity, stress, and high blood pressure. These widespread health risks are well known to lead to more severe health issues that require time off work for medical support. This absence from work can create an excessive workload for the remaining employees, resulting in countless additional costs to the employer.
When an organization decides to adopt a policy of improving and enhancing employee wellness, they’re looking to take proactive steps towards reducing these health risks, resulting in a healthier workforce and minimizing workplace incidents.
An effective employee wellness program is crafted in a way people want to participate voluntarily, rather than being an authoritative compulsory policy that forces people to alter their lifestyles.
There are three core methods to employ that maximize the chance that employees will take engage in your wellness program:
Employee wellness programs that tend to fall flat are the ones crafted in boardrooms, behind closed doors, and then forced on employees without consulting their opinions at any part of the planning stages.
The best employee wellness programs, however, spend time in their development stage communicating with their employees, canvassing opinions, and learning what would make a genuine difference to their lives. Once the program is up and running, employees should be regularly surveyed.
Because wellness is about overall health, not just physical health, transparency is key to creating an open and honest workplace culture. Employees must feel comfortable addressing their physical and mental health concerns without fearing judgment or retribution.
Transparency allows employers to track the effectiveness of their wellness programs and make necessary changes or improvements. It also enables employees to hold the employer accountable and ensure they get the most out of the program.
Creating A Supportive Environment
A supportive environment will benefit everyone in the organization and should be a core part of any employee wellness program. Leaders should extend this support network beyond the workplace exclusively. Including family members in wellness initiatives can increase participation in the program. Employees are far more likely to succeed in a program tailored to their specific needs.
Benefits of Employee Wellness
As we previously mentioned, you can be forgiven for thinking that as a business leader, there aren’t many immediate benefits to implementing an employee wellness program in your organization. But the reality is that wellness programs can be a game-changer for any organization.
Fewer Sick Days: Having employees out of action is expensive and inconvenient. Reducing potential health concerns through employee wellness initiatives minimizes the frequency of absences.
More Productive: Being healthy and exercising regularly has been proven to increase employee productivity.
It Acts As A Recruitment Tool: Employees analyze organizational culture and employee benefits when considering their options. A robust and engaging employee wellness program will be near the top of many people’s considerations.
Increases Employee Morale: An employee wellness program is just one way of showing employees that leadership genuinely cares about them and their work environment. This is a huge morale boost. It’s worth noting that a workforce with high morale is far more likely to be engaged, efficient, and productive.
Creates A Team Culture: When an employee wellness program integrates team sports or group activities, it fosters a sense of camaraderie and togetherness.
Employee Wellness Statistics
It’s all well and good explaining the benefits, giving outlines, and sharing why we think an employee wellness program would be great for your organization, but what about cold hard data, facts, and figures that prove the case?
We’re glad you asked:
- 62% of employees who participated in an employee wellness program said it reduced healthcare costs. (HealthMine)
- 38% of employees who participated in an employee wellness program took fewer sick days. (HealthMine)
- Regarding making healthier lifestyle choices following participation, 61% of employees were choosing healthier options. (Aflac)
- Organizations who have run employee wellness programs report that 67% of them now have increased employee satisfaction, 66% show increased productivity, 63% reported increased financial sustainability and growth, and 50% reported decreased fewer employee absences. (IFEBP)
- 74% of employers felt that using an employee wellness system would benefit their recruitment strategies and retain staff already at the organization. (Xerox)
- When asked the reason they would miss work, employees reported that they took days off because of constant fatigue (29%), sleeplessness (26%), aches and pains (24%), high anxiety (23%), and weight gain (18%). (CareerBuilder)
- 61% of employees suffer from burnout. (CareerBuilder)
- 53% of companies surveyed said they want an organizational culture encouraging employees to be healthy. (SHRM)
- 60% of organizations surveyed already offer employee wellness programs. (SHRM)
- 89% of employees at organizations that provide an employee wellness program said that they would be more likely to recommend it as a workplace because of the program. (American Psychological Association)
10 Examples Of Employee Wellness Programs
During the height of the recent pandemic, workplaces were forced to adopt flexible working schedules, and employees everywhere rejoiced.
This change was excellent news for employees, but what about employers?
Flexible working hours can be a great way to increase productivity in the workplace, but there are some things that employers need to keep in mind. Here are a few tips on how to make flexible working hours work for your business:
Define What Success Looks: Before you can start measuring the success of your flexible working arrangement, you need first to define what success looks like. What are the goals that you want to achieve by implementing this change? Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can start working on a strategy to achieve them.
Communicate With Your Employees: Flexible working arrangements will only be successful if there is good communication between employers and employees. Make sure everyone is on the same page and understands their roles and responsibilities.
Set Clear Expectations: It is vital to set clear expectations for employers and employees. Even within a flexible schedule, there needs to be structure. By setting clear expectations, you can avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
Be Flexible: The whole point of flexible working arrangements is to be… well, flexible. If something isn’t working out the way you planned, be willing to make changes.
Work From Home Arrangements
Offering employees the option to work from home, even a hybrid week, can enormously impact employee well-being. Just like providing flexible schedules, work-from-home options ease the stress of things like child care, commuting, and travel expenses. This is a significant positive when employees are searching for work. Besides flexible hours, working from home is among the top reasons an employer might look appealing.
It may appear obvious to recognize employee accomplishments, but it can easily be neglected when focusing on the bigger picture and company-wide objectives. Making the time to celebrate wins, no matter how small, prevents employees from feeling under appreciated, boosts motivation, and provides individuals with a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Using software solutions like Stars by Culture Booster allows you to quickly and easily celebrate successes across the company in an easy and accessible way. Furthermore, it won’t just be you celebrating the successes but your colleagues and the employees themselves too.
There are a few key benefits of having a collaborative workspace, the most important—being employee well-being. When employees feel like they're part of a team and they have the opportunity to work together, it can lead to improved morale and decreased stress levels. This, in turn, can lead to improved productivity and creativity.
Another benefit of collaborative workspaces is that they can help promote team-building. When employees work together in one space, it can help them get to know each other better and develop stronger working relationships. This can benefit the individual employees and the company as a whole.
Employee Assistance Programs
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a work-based program that assists employees with difficulties that may affect their work performance. An EAP can provide employees counseling, referral, and other services for free or at a reduced fee. Services typically include assessment, short-term counseling, and follow-ups. EAPs are confidential and HIPAA compliant.
EAPs are designed to address a wide range of personal problems such as job stress, financial concerns, alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and grief. Employees who participate in an EAP often find that it helps them resolve their problems faster and improve their work performance.
Wellness adventures are a chance for your team to get out of the office environment and have some fun together. Many companies offer employee wellness adventures and retreats ranging from weekends away, team-building adventures, and sports.
Be sure to take note of and consider any physical abilities before planning the adventure so the activity can include everyone.
The grind of the daily commute can be a nightmare for many employees. Offering a company-backed transit option is a great alternative. It’s more affordable for employees and gives people reliable options for getting to work. This could be as simple as operating a shuttle for local employees, subsidized bike rental memberships, or even a car-sharing program.
Offer Support For Parents
Parental assistance is a vital part of any employee wellness program. It can help working parents manage their time and workload while providing support for childcare and other family responsibilities. There are several different types of parental assistance programs that can be customized to meet the needs of any organization. Some common features include on-site child care, backup child care, flexible work options, and subsidies for dependent care expenses.
Parental assistance programs can have a profound impact on employee productivity and retention. Working parents who have access to these programs are more likely to feel supported by their employers and less likely to leave their job due to family commitments. In addition, these programs can help reduce stress levels and promote a better work-life balance. Ultimately, parental assistance programs are a win-win for both employees and employers.
Make Work-Life Balance Mandatory
Maintaining a proper work-life balance is an integral part of employee wellness. Some employees can quickly and easily switch off the moment they clock out, but for many, they’ll extend their hours or drop in at work in their leisure time. Putting in measures that reduce or even prevent this from happening will benefit employees and employers in the long run.
On-Site Fitness Or Yoga Classes
Exercise is a pillar of healthy living and has been found to increase employee happiness and engagement.
Many employees don’t have the time before or after work to get to a gym or class, even if they’d like to. Employees can take some time out of their working day to work on themselves when on-site fitness equipment is available.