By Kimberly Kafafian
If I had to pick one HR topic for organizations to focus on in 2022, it would likely be employee wellness. The pandemic has shown us just how important it is to focus on the physical and mental health of the workforce. While doing so is obviously key for the employees themselves, it is also necessary for companies to survive and thrive in our new work world.
The scares and challenges of the last two years have changed how employees view their jobs. Not only are they demanding a better work-life balance, they are also looking to align themselves with organizations that value them and genuinely consider their wants and needs. One way for employers to demonstrate that they see and hear them is through wellness programs.
As an HR professional, I am often asked by leadership and CFO’s as to whether the benefits are worth the investment. My answer: unequivocally, yes!
A Cost Benefit Analysis
By creating wellness programs, organizations reap a variety of benefits making it well worth the investment, such as:
- Providing a competitive edge in a tight labor market. Today’s job seekers expect health and wellness benefits from employers. They want more than just a good salary. In fact, candidates often include wellness programs on their list of job benefits that are important to them.
- Retaining and engaging existing talent. Employee wellness goes hand-in-hand with employee engagement. Offering initiatives that are focused on an individual’s wellbeing lets workers know that they are not just another number or cog in the wheel. This helps employees feel they play an important part in the function of the organization and provides greater job satisfaction.
- Creating a positive corporate culture. When a company has a genuine concern for the workforce’s wellbeing, it fosters a culture of trust and respect, which in turn boosts morale and a feeling of belonging. A positive culture is not only important for engagement, but also for recruiting.
- Lowering absenteeism and turnover. Initiatives that improve employee health and reduce stress levels in turn tend to decrease sick days and resignations. Employees who are healthy, well-rested and energized are more motivated to complete their work and perform their best – and are less likely to start job hunting.
- Reducing healthcare costs. When the workforce’s health improves, they are less likely to get sick saving the organization in healthcare expenses. Studies show that for every dollar an employer spends on wellness programs, the company saves an average of $3.27 in health care costs.
- Decreasing losses. The American Institute of Stress found that job stress costs the US industry more than $300 billion in losses due to absenteeism, diminished productivity, and accidents.
The benefits employers gain from offering employee wellness programs are definitely worth the investment.
Not sure what types of offerings to include in your wellness program? Read our blog Employee Health and Wellness Program Ideas.