Why Companies Should Care About Employee Health and Wellness

by Spectrum Wellness

When a manager approaches their superior to propose an employee health and wellness initiative, they may be met with certain challenges or questions. One such question might be: “Why should we care about our employees’ wellness?” A fair question, given that, ultimately, we are all individually responsible for our own health and wellbeing. That being said, as we spend a third of our waking hours working for our employers, it’s important that we feel valued and that our conditions safeguard our physical and mental wellbeing.
Should you be faced with the question of “why” when proposing the introduction of an employee wellness programme, these reasons should help your to highlight the value.

Employee Attraction & Retention

The fact that a lot of well-known brands and major firms in tech, finance and beyond have both impressive employee wellness programmes and excellent employee retention rates is not a coincidence.
When faced with options in choosing an employer, it often comes down to how well looked after the employees seem: healthy food options, good work-life balance, family oriented, positive environment, mental health friendly, health insurance. It all matters, and it all relates back to an employee wellness strategy. And with 70% of employees saying they are more likely to stick with a company if they feel their health and wellbeing are looked after, there is no reason why a company shouldn’t have an effective programme in place.

Keep presenteeism and absenteeism low
Presenteeism means working while sick or otherwise incapacitated, typically as a result of a lack of a sick day policy or a negative work environment which pressurises employees to prioritise work over health and all else. It can ultimately result in chronic ill health, loss of productivity and can even cause workplace epidemics. In fact, it is an even larger cause of drops in productivity than absenteeism, which is often caused by ill physical and mental health.
Combined, presenteeism and absenteeism can cost organisations up to €1.5 billion a year, or roughly €800 an employee, making it an issue that needs to be addressed by many companies in Ireland. A well-managed wellness programme that takes into account the actual issues affecting employees is the most productive way of remedying this.

An investment in productivity
Aside from reducing presenteeism and absenteeism, investing in employee wellness is an investment in productivity. Employees who are eating healthier, exercising and maintaining their mental health are more productive. 29% of employees say that they are tired all the time, while 17% say that they can’t keep things straight in their head. Employees are burning out because of work, and 79% of their employers aren’t doing anything to help.
Education on sleep health, abandoning any culture of after-hour working, enablement of healthy eating and exercise are all excellent elements of an effective wellness plan that will help to improve productivity levels.

Happy employees want to do good work

Happy employees are 12% more productive, but they are also more likely to be motivated to do as good a job as possible if they feel they are appreciated and that their wellbeing is of importance.

Your company’s reputation is at stake
Companies that treat their employees well and invest in their wellbeing tend to have excellent reputations. Putting this reputation at risk not only impacts your employee attraction rate but also your reputation in the industry and in the public eye overall. We’ve seen time and time again companies being highlighted in the media for their disregard for employee wellbeing. Protect your reputation by making employee health and wellness a priority.

Categories: ​Health & Well-being

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