Whether the root cause lies in the increasing commonality of smart technology and data analysis tools leveraged in the average workplace, or in an attempt to retain more highly skilled workers amongst a particularly turbulent global job market, it’s clear that modern employers are demonstrating a vested interest in not only measuring employee well-being but attempting to improve conditions for workers.
Data published in Wellable Labs’ 2022 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report does well to illustrate this statement, with researchers finding that 90% of surveyed companies are investing more into employee mental health programs, 76% are actively improving upon stress management and resilience training and 71% are planning to introduce company mindfulness and meditation practises.
With so many organizations diverting time and resources towards wellness programs of late, it’s fair to assume that most employers are confident these actions will be mutually beneficial. To learn more about the reasons behind these developments, here’s why workplace well-being is good for business.
Increased Employee Engagement
Perhaps the most talked about benefit gleaned from comprehensive workplace wellness programs is an increase in measurable employee engagement. Recent studies have shown that only 21% of global employees consider themselves as engaged in the workplace, whilst this metric may not alarm employers by itself, supporting data indicates a clear link between engagement and employee retention.
According to the Human Workplace Index Survey, over 36% of American employees have active plans to leave their jobs within the next year, though highly engaged employees are as much as 87% less likely to voluntarily leave their current positions. Considering that the rate of employee turnover is expected to be 50-75% higher in the coming years, finding ways to engage workers may prove vital to business success.
Employee engagement and workplace well-being are, of course, intrinsically connected, with engaged and happy staff found to work around 12% harder than their unhappy counterparts, ultimately contributing to businesses with happier employees outperforming their direct competitors by as much as 20%.
Wellness programs improve productivity
There’s little value in pouring resources into retaining and engaging employees if these efforts have no positive impact on overall productivity, though thankfully for staff and employers alike, research repeatedly demonstrates a clear correlation between employee wellbeing and increased productivity.
Employees that receive ample support and mentorship regarding common workplace issues like burnout and stress are far less likely to fall behind in their work due to avoidable problems. Again, this is shown in studies finding that the employees of businesses who do not offer dedicated wellness programs are 61% more likely to experience burnout and 48% more likely to report elevated levels of stress.
By providing staff with a positive workplace environment and a culture built around well-being and personalized support, businesses will generally see measurable benefits in employee satisfaction, staff productivity and customer loyalty whilst also experiencing improvements in employee retention.
Reduced levels of absenteeism
Unsurprisingly, workplaces that report higher levels of absenteeism often experience negative impacts regarding both costs and productivity, in fact, it’s estimated that the total annual cost of lost productivity due to excessive workplace absenteeism equals as much as $84 billion in the US alone.
Aside from somewhat unavoidable causes like chronic and communicable illnesses, stress and burnout rank amongst the most frequently reported reasons for workers calling in sick, with experts estimating around 1 million employees are absent every day due entirely to work-related stresses.
Employers can directly address this issue by providing teams with more support through workplace well-being and wellness programs, with employees themselves helping to highlight the contributing factors businesses must address. 87% of workers claim their employers could positively impact their mental health via well-being practices like offering flexible hours, small breaks, bereavement policies, and planned PTO.
Not only can investments in employee wellness and well-being programs measurably improve the lives of existing staff, but companies that offer these perks will likely experience notable benefits in terms of recruiting highly skilled workers across most major industries and global business sectors.
Research has shown that as many as 87% of employees will consider the presence of health and well-being programs as a determining factor when choosing between employers. Younger workers in particular cite mental health benefits as an important consideration when deciding whether to pursue long-term employment with modern companies, with 23% of Gen Z workers naming this as a priority.
When hiring candidates for highly skilled roles, the recruitment process can often be incredibly competitive, meaning that businesses able to offer more attractive health and well-being perks such as flexible hours, optimized coworking spaces and mental health support could gain a clear advantage.
There’s a wealth of research available clearly demonstrating that investments in employee well-being and wellness programs are not only beneficial to workers but can also help businesses to improve their general operations and outperform their competitors. From the ability to create a more engaging work environment to reducing levels of employee absenteeism, workplace well-being continues to be good for business.