The term’s ‘wellness’ and ‘wellbeing’ have been circulating for a number of years now and slowly but surely, companies are integrating practices to support our wellbeing in the workplace.
Let’s kick off with some stats, shall we?
A recent Medibank survey found that healthy workers were three times more effective and productive than those considered unhealthy. The study also found that unhealthy workers were effective for only 49 hours per month as opposed to 143 hours for healthy. That’s a difference of 94 hours or just under 12 days per month.
Dr. David Batman, International Occupational Health Adviser, observed “As a practising specialist in occupational medicine for more than 30 years, I have seen increasing declines in employee health. This decline is related to two significant health issues – obesity and its associated health conditions, and an ever-increasing rise in psychological ill health.”
When it comes to engagement and recruitment, health and wellbeing programs help to not only attract employees, but to also retain.
For example, 60% of employee’s regard wellness programs as a good reason to remain with an employer. Global research also found that when an employee’s wellbeing is managed ‘well’ through such programs, the percentage of employees who are engaged increases from 7% to 55% and innovative from 20% to 72%.
What about the ROI of investing in wellbeing in the workplace? An evaluation looking at economic return of worksite programs found a decrease in sick leave absenteeism of an average of 25.3% and a decrease in workers’ compensation by an average of 40.7%
While some companies might consider wellness nothing more than a trend, these statistics are hard to argue and in order to understand how wellness and the workplace can work together, one must understand what wellness encompasses.
The definition of wellness is to “look after the eight dimensions of emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, physical, occupational, social and spiritual”
Now, whilst companies don’t need to integrate all facets, many are a long way from integrating any and in order to offer an initiative that is effective & deemed more than simply tokenistic, companies should consider gaining consensus then using this to create a program or practices that are considered truly valuable by its employees.
Think of it as being the difference between having an initiative that is a nice to have vs. one that drives engagement.
A few very easy examples of such practices include:
- Lead by example by taking your lunch break outside or have ‘walking meetings’ over sitting in the office
- Don’t applaud hours worked. Applaud the effort & result
- Offer flexibility in the environment and hours
- Concentrate on the basic ingredients for wellbeing: fresh air, fresh food, fresh perspective
- Look at work-life blend as appose to work-life balance. Find out what’s important to your employee’s and/or colleagues. Is it a gym membership to exercise at lunch or to leave half an hour earlier to spend time with their loved ones?
Above all else, wellness is becoming the new social and corporate expectation for the millennial workforce which now make up more than half of the workforce in many countries and spend almost twice as much on self-care than the baby boomers.
It is fast becoming a core responsibility, a critical performance strategy to drive engagement, energy and productivity. and a surefire way to attract the best talent. What have you got to lose?
Whether you’re just getting started with the benefits of wellbeing or you’re a long-time fan, these are the 3 wellbeing apps we think you need to know about:
By The Dream Collective’s Program Delivery Manager, Alicia Brown