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How much will prioritizing employee wellness improve your bottom line?

October 3, 2019
HR Wisdom

Can you name more than one company on theFortune Future 50 list? How about on the Fortune Best Places to Work list?

I know what you’re thinking – Netflix is up there in the top 10 somewhere, right?

However, to illustrate the point we are making here today, we will need to look at the example of another, perhaps less widely popular enterprise.

Workday, a company that has made its name providing cloud-based financial planning and analysis services, is the only one to pop up on both these lists. Let’s take a wild guess and assume that’s because they have figured out a rather straightforward path to success: investing in your employees’ represents equal investing in your company’s future.

Why are corporate wellness programs important?

Corporate wellness has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

But what exactly does the term even mean?

In a nutshell, let’s explain corporate wellness as actions taken by the employer to improve the lives of their employees. That can entail fitness programs, coaching, counseling, company retreats, anything that a team of people as a whole, as well as on an individual level, will benefit from.

The most apparent benefit of implementing such a program is reflected in the reduced costs to the company health care plan.Employees who mind their health (both physical and mental) require fewer days off and less frequent doctor’s visits.

But more importantly – they are more engaged, more productive, and happier people. As a result, the companies these sparkling individuals work for are more competitive in the marketplace, possibly even becoming contenders for one of the top spots on the lists mentioned in our intro.

What can you expect from such programs?

Once you start incorporating an employee wellness program at the office, specific benefits will begin to emerge:

●     Improved company culture. One of the things that draw the very best of modern-dayworkers to a company is its culture. And when you have an employee-centered program in place, your staff will get the chance to work on themselves and their mutual relationships in new and empowering settings, strengthening the bonds they have, and forging new ones.

●     Reduced risk of burnout. Burnout is the most widely spread disease plaguing the modern workplace. A couple of years back, 61% of workers claimed to be burned out at their current job. Imagine what the numbers are like today. When you give your people a chance to vent, to blow off some steam and work on their wellbeing, you will automatically be reducing this number – significantly.

●      Lowered turnovers. Hiring top talent is a challenge in itself. Retaining such talent in a cutthroat market can seem like mission impossible. These valuable professionals are not just after a fat paycheck, as the millennial generation seeks out meaning and flexibility in the workplace. If you want to get people to stay, you need to offer something more than a raise – a sense of belonging and purpose, which can be forged through wellness programs.

●      Improved productivity. A happy and satisfied employee is a more productive one. A wellness program will, first of all, show your people that you care about them, and not just the work they can do. And as you tailor these programs to individuals, not groups, each person will get to work on living the best life they can, with your help. How can they not be more productive?

How can you start?

While implementing the right programs will take some time, as well as some trial and error, there are things you can do today to improve how your staff feels at work.

●     Stock the office pantry with healthy food and drink choices: more fruits and wholesome meals, less sugary sodas and cookies.

●     Add a couple of standing desks to the workspace. As we all know by now, “sitting is the new smoking.”

●     Organize sporting events. You don’t have to do the corporate yoga classes everyone else is doing. You can try things like kayaking, or martial arts, or even trapeze lessons – anything that will spike the interest of your staff and get them moving.

●     Host company retreats: once a year, once a month, however often you can afford it and think is necessary.

●     Implement a step counting competition and reward those who achieve the most steps in a day or a week.

What to expect

Keep in mind that the sudden addition of a wellness program will come with some resistance. Not everyone will want to engage in the activities, and some will feel pressured to do something they might not want to do.

Don’t choose activities that don’t match your employees’ interests, and don’t force anything on them. Feeling their pulse on the subject will certainly help you create a program they want to be apart of – and that’s something that will benefit both them and your bottomline.

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Caitlin is a bookworm, nutritionist and one passionate writer. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and the Universe, Cate is researching and covering various health and well-being related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and well... caffeine (bad lama!). To see what is Caitlin up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.

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