Wellness programs are becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace. It is no longer an exclusive perk that is offered by big corporations to attract talent, it is becoming a norm and smaller and medium-size companies are offering wellness programs to their employees as well. Employers are recognising the many benefits of having a good wellness program in the workplace. The office is after all, like a second home to most working adults, where we spend 8 hours, or even more a day. Therefore, the impact it has on employees will be significant and it is essential to make wellness a part of the office culture.
There will be 3 parts to this Wellness in the workplace series, and in this first part, I would be sharing more on the benefits of wellness in the office.
- Improve Employees Health
This is an important benefit not just for employers but for the general population. According to World Health Organisation, worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975, and people who are obese are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. According to research by Rand Health Quarterly, a wellness program can increase healthy behaviours, such as exercise, and may help contain the current epidemic of lifestyle-related diseases. This is possible because a good wellness program is designed to change behavioural patterns to help maintain or improve the well-being of their employees. Having a healthier workforce can bring about many positive outcomes and is linked to a few other benefits that we will be talking about.
- Reduce Cost
While it may sound counterintuitive, having a good wellness program and healthier employees can help companies save more than they spend as medical costs and absenteeism costs will be reduced. This is supported by research conducted by Harvard University, according to that research, for every dollar spent on a wellness program, medical costs fall by about $3.27 and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73.
- Increase Productivity
Productivity is not only affected by absenteeism but also presenteeism. This occurs when the employee is physically present, but they are not mentally there, and they are not in their best state physically or mentally. This not only reduces productivity as they are limited by the physical discomfort or their mind being somewhere else but also increases the chance of the employee getting injured. This is caused normally by poor health and can be reduced if employees are healthier.
- Retain Good Employees
It is no secret that no one would be interested to work for a company that does not value them. In the past, job security and money were the top priority of employees, they would stay in the company even if the companies were not treating them well. However, those days are gone, the loyalty of employees needs to be earned. A good wellness program will lead to an increase in the morale of employees and thus, increase engagement and reduce turnover rate.
- Attract New Talents
Not only does a good wellness program help retain good employees, but it can also help to attract new talents. A study conducted by Virgin Pulse, states that 87 percent of employees say they consider health and wellness packages when choosing an employer. With so many good companies offering good wellness and health benefits, talents will most likely reject a job if they do not provide them.
The benefits of having a good wellness program in the workplace far exceed the cost of it and there is a huge amount of research that supports this. A well-designed wellness program will lead to cost savings, higher productivity, lower employee turnover rate, and attract new talents. Please stay tuned for the second part of this series where I will be sharing examples of good wellness initiatives.