The workplace adjustments that have taken place during the pandemic have shed new light on the importance of employee wellness. This includes workers who are trying to stay safe while laboring around others. It also applies to those fighting isolation and emotional exhaustion from home.
It’s easy to make the case for employee wellness from the perspective of the staff members themselves. However, here are a few additional reasons that employers should be proactive about investing in their workers in order to boost their bottom line, as well.
1. Your Employees Are More Effective
A good wellness program doesn’t just do lip service to the need for improved individual health. It also takes action to make a difference in the lives of your workers.
For instance, a good employee wellness program could help expose the value of getting proper sleep. Sleep deprivation — even from moderate amounts of sleep — can lead to significant levels of impairment when working. This can hurt your bottom line both through lower productivity and poor-quality work.
The principle doesn’t just apply to high-level health concerns like sleeping well and eating a healthy diet, either. A more niche example could be health recommendations for specific issues or times of the year.
For example, a wellness program might point out the benefits of silk sheets or wearing silk pajamas which, according to Quince, can help moisturize the skin and manage things like acne or eczema.
At first glance, this may not have anything to do with work. But preventing dry, painful, itchy, or cracked skin during the winter months can have a quiet-yet-huge impact on productivity. It can help employees stay comfortable and, by extension, remain focused and effective.
Whether it’s basic health concerns for all, niche recommendations for individuals, or anything in between, there are many ways a wellness program can help your employees stay busy and productive.
2. Your Employees Feel Invested
One of the simplest side effects of corporate wellness programs is the fact that it creates a sense of investment on the part of your employees. Regardless of the specific health conditions that they’re trying to manage, if one of your workers feels that you’re trying to watch out for their health, it can have a huge impact on how they view you as an employer.
The author of Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health & Wealth, Dr. Roger Sahoury, explains the kind of impact that a workplace wellness program can have on your workers’ perspective. The Doctor states that 55% of workers “identified a workplace wellness program as an instrument in improving their overall well-being.”
That means over half of employees reported a sense of positive improvement from the efforts that their employers put in on behalf of their health. The repercussions that this can have on your bottom line are tremendous. Hiring new employees is notoriously expensive. If you can cultivate a sense of loyalty amongst your staffers, it can improve retention, which can lead to less money invested in recruitment.
3. Your Employees Aren’t as Burned Out
We live in an overachieving culture. Extreme jobs — those that require 60-hour workweeks or more — have become the norm. They’re exalted, even as they consume the lives of those who work them.
When the concept of an extreme job comes up against employee wellness, there’s an immediate conflict. It’s difficult to put ten to fifteen hours a day into your job and stay healthy.
Work from home hasn’t helped the issue, either. Many remote workers feel tethered to their office hardware. They’re always looking for notifications and feel at the beck and call of their employers.
The thing is, according to one study from Stanford University, working longer doesn’t equate to being more productive. In fact, the study claims that after 55 hours of work, productivity drops so dramatically that it’s pointless to continue working.
A good health and wellness program can help shine a light on the damaging effects of overworking. The thing is, this needs to come from an employer. By informing your employees that you understand the need for them to pace themselves, you enable them to rest in between bouts of work. This statistically leads to better output in both quality and quantity of work.
4. Your Employees Are Healthier
Healthcare is an expensive part of life these days. As health-related costs continue to rise, the ability to remain proactive about one’s health continues to pay dividends.
Some of these advantages are obvious, such as being more productive and focused. However, there are other ways that healthy employees can save your organization money.
One way is through lower healthcare costs. If you have healthier employees, it can influence how much both you and they are paying for their healthcare premiums.
Sometimes the savings are right on the surface, too. Some health insurance companies offer discounts and rewards for companies that have corporate wellness initiatives and programs.
Another healthy-employee-related financial advantage comes through less absenteeism. When your employees are healthier, there’s a natural uptick in how well they’re able to apply themselves to their work.
They will need fewer sick days and won’t be bogged down by “low key” concerns, such as mental health or fighting off a cold. These are important health issues that should be addressed. However, many people work through them and don’t feel that they can take the time to seek help. This can significantly hurt their productivity and quality of work.
By cultivating healthier lifestyles for your workforce, you can reduce the number of sickness-related expenses that your business incurs.
There are many reasons to foster a proper sense of health from your employees. This starts with your employees themselves. It’s important that companies prioritize the well-being of their workforce for their workers’ sake.
However, that doesn’t negate the fact that there are distinct advantages that businesses gain from having healthy workers, as well. Wellness programs and health initiatives can increase things like loyalty and productivity. It can also reduce harmful elements like excess absenteeism and burnout.
All of this adds up to significant financial savings. This makes it more than just an external responsibility for corporations to look out for the health of their employees. They should also invest heavily in employee wellness in the name of improving the bottom line, too.