Prioritizing employee wellness isn’t just important from an ethical standpoint; it’s also good business. The health and happiness of your workforce can profoundly impact performance, so investing in employee wellness sets up your company for long-term success.
Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Apple, said, “Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customers. I think you build one with your employees first.”
Far from having marginal impacts on the success of your business, employee wellness plays a key role in the overall productivity and engagement of your workforce. Below, five business leaders explain how employee wellness can make an impact on your business as a whole.
1. Increased Productivity
Employees who are happy and healthy are more likely to be productive. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient rest all contribute to higher energy levels, better focus, and improved cognitive function. As a result, tasks are completed more efficiently, leading to increased productivity within the workplace.
“You may not be able to control your employees’ lives outside work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t support their wellness in the workplace,” explains Andy Khubani, CEO of Copper Fit. “In fact, as the place where your employees spend a third of each day, improving the ergonomics of your office and promoting work-life balance should be a top priority.”
Supporting employee wellness may lead to improved innovation, creativity, and problem-solving, all of which contribute to your business’s long-term success.
2. Reduced Absenteeism
Prioritizing employee wellness leads to a decrease in absenteeism. When employees take care of their physical and mental health, they are less prone to the illnesses and burnout that force them to take sick days — or even quit.
“Burnout has become a bit of a buzzword, but somehow, people are still underestimating how detrimental it can be to business performance,” warns Thomas D. Hull, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer of Hero Journey Club. “Especially post-pandemic, people need rest and support. Being able to provide that to the workforce can translate into real economic benefits.”
All in all, reduced absenteeism corresponds to fewer sick days and unplanned leaves, ensuring a consistent workforce and maintaining business continuity.
3. Improved Engagement
Well-being initiatives foster a positive work environment, promoting employee engagement. Engaged employees are more committed to their roles, leading to increased job satisfaction and a sense of purpose.
“It’s important that employees feel like their superiors and workplace care about them,” says Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer of CommentSold, a company that helps brands succeed in their Shopify live selling endeavors. “It’s hard to be invested in an organization if that organization doesn’t invest back into you. Wellness initiatives are an effective way to show your workforce you care.”
When employees are healthy and engaged in their work, they positively impact the overall atmosphere within the organization, creating a ripple effect felt across all sectors of your company.
3. Improved Retention Rates
Companies that invest in employee wellness demonstrate a commitment to their workforce’s overall well-being. This, in turn, fosters a sense of loyalty among employees. Organizations with comprehensive wellness programs are more likely to retain top talent, saving costs associated with recruitment and training.
“Hiring and training employees is expensive,” Sid Shamim, CEO & President of Headway Capital says. “The cost might feel invisible because it comes from lost productivity, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”
High retention rates translate to more efficient employees and higher profits. By supporting the health and well-being of your workforce, you can increase the likelihood that they’ll stay with your company and contribute to your business more effectively and sustainably.
4. Better Morale and Team Dynamics
A focus on wellness contributes to improved morale and stronger team dynamics. When employees feel supported in their personal well-being, they are more likely to collaborate, communicate effectively, and contribute positively to the company culture.
“Picture a workplace where everyone is coughing, sneezing, or calling in sick,” says Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer of Winona, a company known for their progesterone cream. “Not a very fun place to work, right? When everyone in the office feels well and knows their health is a priority, the morale of the whole office improves, and it generally becomes a better workplace.”
Healthy and happy employees enhance overall team dynamics and organizational cohesion, which can cut down on costly errors and pain points. Plus, it’s simply more enjoyable to work in an environment where people get along and like each other.
Supporting Employee Wellness at Your Organization
There are countless benefits to supporting the well-being of your workforce. A robust employee wellness plan for your workplace is one of the best ways to show your employees that you care about their health and well-being.
Unsure how to get started with an employee wellness plan? Here are some tenets of a useful employee wellness plan:
1. Encourage Regular Breaks
Despite what traditional business practices and hustle culture may say, allowing for regular breaks and downtime is important for the overall well-being and satisfaction of your workforce. Encouraging employees to take regular breaks throughout the day improves focus and reduces stress, improving their performance as well.
“Step one to creating a healthy work environment is assessing what the environment is currently like,” recommends Lioran Pinchevski, Founder and CEO of Finaloop, a company known for their ecommerce accounting software. “Are employees afraid of being seen taking breaks or socializing? If so, it might be time to reevaluate how you can create a more positive and supportive workplace.”
Breaks as simple as short walks, meditation, or brief moments of relaxation can be enough to boost morale and decrease stress. Encourage your employees to practice these small breaks to promote a more healthy workplace.
2. Provide Health Benefits
The best way to support employee wellness is by offering comprehensive health benefits that cover preventive care, mental health support, and wellness services.
“A strong benefits package is important for multiple reasons,” explains Brandon Adcock, Co-Founder and CEO of Nugenix . “First, it promotes the health and well-being of your workforce. Second, it lets you stand out and attract and retain talent.”
Accessible healthcare options contribute to employees feeling supported and cared for by the organization. Not only will this foster a positive work environment, but it also serves to make your business more competitive within your industry.
3. Allow Flexible Work Arrangements
Be open to flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours. Providing this flexibility acknowledges and accommodates your employees’ diverse needs, supporting their work-life balance and overall wellness.
“Post-pandemic, a lot of people won’t even consider applying somewhere without a work-from-home policy,” advises Marc Boelen, CEO of 2XU, a company known for their line of mens compression pants. “You might not be able to offer fully remote work, but having some flexibility in your hours will be a major selling point for prospective hires.”
Flexible work arrangements also make your workplace more accessible to those with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or caregiver responsibilities and can alleviate the stress associated with those conditions.
4. Create a Healthy Workplace
Whether your business primarily operates in an office, warehouse, or retail storefront, designing a healthy workplace begins with careful consideration of the physical office space. Incorporating elements that enhance the well-being of employees is essential.
“It might seem obvious, but people work better in an environment that supports their health,” says Amanda Howland, Co-Founder of ElleVet Sciences. “It’s important to do what you can to create a healthy workplace for your employees, whether that be incorporating some greenery throughout the office, investing in high-quality, adjustable furniture, or improving the ventilation of the space.”
Physical attributes collectively contribute to a workspace that supports the health, comfort, and productivity of employees, creating a positive and vibrant atmosphere within the office.
5. Foster a Positive Work Environment
Focus on creating a workplace that prioritizes positivity and inclusivity. A positive work environment reduces stress and promotes a sense of community, which can improve the well-being of your individual employees as well as the team dynamics as a whole.
“Company culture can significantly contribute to the wellness of the workforce,” Shaunak Amin, CEO and Co-Founder of SwagMagic says. “When people trust their colleagues and superiors, feel respected and supported, and know that their wins will be celebrated, it can ease everyday stress.”
Open communication, recognition programs, and a supportive culture all play crucial roles in fostering well-being. Spend some time considering what you can implement in your business culture to promote a more positive and healthy work environment.
Healthy Employees, Healthy Businesses
Recognizing the profound impact of employee wellness on business performance is crucial for organizations seeking sustained success. By investing in the well-being of their workforce, companies can enjoy increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and improved overall workplace dynamics. In short: Demonstrating that you care about the health and well-being of your employees facilitates both fun and success.
As Andrew Carnegie put it, “There is little success where there is little laughter.”
Employees who feel supported, valued, and appreciated by their workforce are more likely to contribute to the success of the business. Implementing supportive measures ensures that employees feel valued and, in turn, contribute positively to the success of the organization. Happy and healthy employees create a healthy and successful business. It’s as simple as that.
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