Without your employees your company wouldn’t exist as it is today.
If you’re not focused on your employee wellness you might end up with an overweight, unproductive and stressed workforce, and what comes with that is absenteeism – costing your business more money than you may have planned every year. What can you do about it? Encourage employee wellness by making it part of your culture. Add wellness benefits to employee packages to encourage exercise, healthy eating and better mental health. Here are a few stats about wellness programmes:
Wellness programmes have shown that in as little as six weeks health risks could improve dramatically – improving your business, employees and even your revenue.
Only 60% of organisations offer a wellness programme (US) https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/pages/2017-employee-benefits.aspx
38% of wellness program participants said it helped them take fewer sick days. (HealthMine)
In 2016, employee absenteeism — missing work because of sickness or injury — drained the U.S. economy of $2 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This was due to just five health conditions — high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity.
It’s not only weight and other physical factors which is the focus of a wellness programme – people are becoming much more aware of mental health and as an employer you should be aware of people’s stress levels and should have some awareness of other stressful factors outside of people’s working lives.
According to a study by Monster paper, employees who can control their stress have lower absenteeism (https://www.wellsteps.com/blog/2018/01/06/workplace-wellness-statistics-wellness-stats/) but how can you help people control their stress levels?
1. Talk to your employees about their anxieties and problems in and outside of work. By taking an interest it allows them to have someone to talk to but make sure they can trust you by not sharing their information to anyone. Don’t wait for people to come to you with their problems, a lot of people don’t want to be a burden. If you don’t feel like you have the ability to listen to personal issues organise some time with HR – they can help you out. Show you genuinely care about your employees and their wellbeing.
2. Add some perks into your business culture. Gym memberships, child care vouchers or even fresh fruit can reduce stress. It will also save your employees some money which is an added benefit for them. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle helps with positivity and helps boost motivation.
3. Flexible working is a great way to reduce stress in your employees. Some people are very busy – in and outside work, by offering them flexible working you are enabling people to have a life whilst working for you instead of having to juggle their personal lives around their work life.
4. Appreciate your employees. We’ve stressed before how important appreciation is and how a simple thank you can change the mood immediately. People need to feel appreciated so take a few minutes a day to appreciate those who work hard. Appreciation will also help with employee retention and help create a positive work environment.
5. Try some outside of work group activities. Try organising some pre-work yoga or after work bike rides. Encouraging people to do things in groups will make it easier to get people to lead an active lifestyle and it will also contribute to team building.
6. 80% of employees in pet-friendly workplaces say having pets nearby while they work makes them feel “happy, relaxed and sociable” (Purina). Letting people bring in their pets will unburden them of finding a pet sitter and also bring something different to the office environment. If you don’t want pets in the office all the time, have pet days every so often where people can bring their dogs in. Dogs have also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety (https://www.rover.com/blog/dogs-can-help-depression-stress-anxiety-complete-guide/).
Wellness programme case study:
In a 2014 study, RAND researchers looked at a large workplace wellness program offered by PepsiCo.
For every dollar that the company spent on helping employees manage chronic illnesses, the company saved $3.78 in healthcare costs and reduced absenteeism. However, the lifestyle program — focused on things like eating better, exercising more, and quitting smoking — cost more to run than the company saved. Combined, the two programs saved the company $1.46 for every dollar invested.