If employee wellness programs aren’t a priority for your organization, they should be! Deadlines, long hours, shifting priorities, and pressure from the c-suite can lead to a lot of stress in the workplace. With studies linking these high levels of stress to chronic disease and mental health issues, not doing anything to address wellness in the workplace can have major consequences for the business and your employees.
It can be difficult to see the benefits of these wellness programs at first, but investing in the holistic health of your employees can make a big difference in the long run. Why? Wellness and employee engagement go hand-in-hand. Employers who care about and support wellness programs set people up to be great at their jobs—leading to increased productivity, happier employees, and lower turnover.
Wellness has also become more mainstream and accessible than it was a few short years ago, and as a result, these programs are increasingly being sought out by working professionals. With the upper hand in today’s job market, employees are much more willing to look for new opportunities if they feel their job has compromised their physical and/or mental health.
Despite this trend, wellness is something many employers have struggled to figure out. For example, only 20% of the working professionals we surveyed for our 2019 Hiring Outlook felt that their company excelled at providing wellness programs.
Employers have traditionally focused on the cost-saving benefits of wellness programs, but this is not what matters most. Wellness programs should take a holistic approach and be geared toward improving your employees’ physical, mental, social, and financial well-being.
As a result, a renewed focus on these elements will become even more critical to your ability to retain employees:
With so much time spent at the office, many employees put their work over their physical health. They may not make the time to exercise or may stay up late to catch up on emails. This is bound to lead to high levels of employee burnout. Employers can help encourage physical wellness through gym reimbursements, opportunities to get active during the workday, and education about preventative health.
As the subject becomes less taboo, employers can’t shy away from addressing mental health in the workplace. To show employees that their mental well-being comes first, you can offer mental health days, create stress management programs, and make staff aware of external resources. Read also: Can’t Take A Mental Health Day? 7 Ways You Can Still Recharge
It can be easy for your employees to get caught up in their work without much personal interaction with their peers. To create a supportive company culture, give your employees opportunities to build relationships outside of work activities through social get-togethers and team building events.
Nearly half of working Americans are stressed about their finances, according to PWC. A quarter of these employees report that their personal finance issues have been a major distraction at work. As a result, financial wellness is a critical—yet often overlooked—element of employee wellness. Employers can help reduce some of this stress by connecting employees with financial planning resources, 401(k) education, and holding regular webinars or info sessions with subject-matter experts.