It’s no secret talent retention is a hot topic and a pressing issue among business leaders and executives, but, as you may have observed in your own role, addressing that issue is easier said than done. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s so important to think about not only “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting,” but one other important topic that’s trending: Employee well-being.
Many organizations have begun to prioritize the health and wellness of employees as a means of mitigating issues with turnover and improving talent retention. If you are committed to making these improvements in your organization through 2023 and beyond, begin by taking a closer look at workplace well-being.
Not sure where to start? By focusing on these eight key aspects of employee health and wellness, you can improve the health and culture of your team, retain your star talent, and boost your organization’s productivity (and profitability!).
The Latest Stats and Data
Before we get into how you can build a healthier and more productive workplace, it may be helpful for you to understand where your workforce is coming from and how it may be impacting your organization.
Burnout, the World Health Organization writes, is characterized by four key symptoms: fatigue, mental withdrawal from one’s job, reduced professional efficacy, and feelings of negativity or cynicism toward one’s work. According to a Forbes outlook for 2023, nearly 50% of middle managers recently reported burnout, and, in 2022, 70% of C-suite executives considered quitting their current roles to take on positions that gave them more opportunities to care for their mental and physical health.
What does this mean for companies? In a Business.com report, author Julie Thompson described multiple negative consequences for companies that fail to prioritize employees’ health and well-being, including:
- Decreased productivity
- High turnover rates
- Low employee engagement
- Higher health costs
The Flip Side
While the above statistics seem pretty grim, though, there is a silver lining to this situation. Organizations that prioritize workplace wellness for their employees can experience positive benefits. In the same Business.com report, the author mentions studies that demonstrate how positive employee well-being results in improved work quality, productivity, and performance.
So, are you ready to invest in corporate wellness and see the benefits — like employee retention and a healthy workplace culture — that follow? Here are the eight pillars of workplace wellness and our best tips for supporting your team’s physical and mental health at work.
The 8 Pillars of Corporate Wellness
So many workplace wellness programs focus on what happens in the office, but what happens outside the office can impact employee engagement and employee productivity just as much.
A study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine looked at employee sleep issues related to productivity and output, and found that, on average, each employee with insomnia cost their employer $3,156 in lost productivity costs while each employee with fewer sleep issues costs their employer $2,500.
The point? Ensure you’re giving your employees a workload that doesn’t disrupt their sleep schedules.
While you can’t control what your employees eat and drink, you can make it easier for them to make healthy decisions while in the office, via amenities such as healthy catered lunches and snacks in the break room, or changes in team building events from, for example, a pub to a group hike and picnic.
However, you choose to support employees in creating good nutritional habits, you’ll see the benefits. According to a Corporate Wellness Magazine article, unhealthy eating has been linked to a 66% loss of productivity.
We all know that exercise comes with its benefits but think about how exercise can benefit your mental health as well as your physical health. If your employees aren’t getting enough time to exercise, make it easier for them by offering gym memberships, fitness classes, or similar incentives so they can get in their regular workouts (and so you can see the productivity benefits that follow!).
The adverse effects of workplace stress are two-fold, as it can impact both the physical and mental health of employees, as well as their productivity levels, which can in turn contribute to high turnover rates within your organization.
However, it is possible to prevent workplace stress through proactive strategies. Ensure your team has the adequate resources, time, and budget to achieve business objectives. Actively listen to their concerns and implement necessary changes. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to establish realistic business goals and create a supportive environment that enables everyone to succeed.
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Unhealthy drinking habits, smoking, or even unhealthy relationships with food, can heavily impact employee productivity and performance — even if that employee is technically “functional.” According to research conducted by Brigham Young University, the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), and the Center for Health Research at Healthways, these behaviors can increase instances of “presenteeism,” where employees are physically present at work but not performing at their best.
Consider providing support via mental health benefits, access to therapeutic services, or a coaching program that can assist employees in uncovering the root causes of their behaviors, so they can detoxify their lives.
While drinking more water each day may seem like a tedious task, the potential advantages, particularly in terms of your employees’ productivity and mental endurance, can be significant. In fact, even a slight shift in hydration levels can have negative consequences. NPR cites a study demonstrating that a mere 1% increase in dehydration led to approximately 12% more mistakes among participants who were presented with a cognitive task.
Dehydration reduces cognitive function. You can help your employees stay hydrated by placing water bottles and/or water bottle refilling stations throughout your offices, so that team members’ hydration is less of an afterthought and easier to keep up with.
If you’re looking at long-term talent retention and employee turnover reduction, prevention needs to be a part of your corporate wellness strategy. All of the above efforts can help your employees prevent chronic disease and other long-term issues that can impact workplace costs. According to the CDC, “Five chronic diseases or risk factors — high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity — cost U.S. employers $36.4 billion a year because of employees missing days of work.”
Lastly, training employees to habit-build or adopt the above-suggested healthy habits and measures into their lives on a habitual basis, can go a long way in improving overall employee health and happiness. According to a Wall Street Journal article, healthy lifestyle habits such as eating healthier, getting more exercise, and making lifestyle changes intended to reduce stress resulted in workers showing greater productivity on the job.
The Bottom Line
Implementing a corporate wellness program can not only improve the health and well-being of employees, but also increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and, ultimately, retention. By prioritizing employee wellness and associated employee benefits, companies can create a positive work culture that benefits both employees and the organization. Arootah’s Corporate Wellness program offers customized employee solutions that elevate your firm and help you retain a workforce that remains professionally engaged. If you have concerns about the overall health of your company, increased absenteeism, or high employee turnover, take our free, 3-minute assessment to get a glimpse into your firm’s health.