In the United States, workplace wellness is valued at over $6billion and quickly growing, thanks to the recent shift in prioritizing employee care and wellness by businesses.
In The New United Healthcare Consumer Sentiment Survey, 73 percent of employees showed an interest in wellness programs and incentives offered by their employers. In response, some of the larger employers across the country are estimated to have spent $3.6 million on employee wellness programs in 2019, as they recognize the importance of taking care of their human resources and equipping them with the tools to do so themselves. A great employee wellness strategy can reduce employee turnover,boost your current workforce's productivity levels, and even market your business as a desirable seller and recruiter.
Businesses that invest in the well-being of their employees experience lower absence rate, increased engagement, and a reduction in the losses experienced from absenteeism and low productivity. Disengaged employees can cost companies $450 to $550 billion in lost productivity every year. Furthermore, Willis Towers Watson's research found that 2 in 5 employees that report financial and health issues are disengaged.
There is also an increasing need to include emotional and mental health in employee well-being packages. With mental conditions such as stress and burnout having been directly linked to company performance, human resource management must be sure to implement strategies that support good well-being all around, both in and out of the workplace.
The best strategy to create a perfect employee wellness program is listening to what your current workforce needs. While there are some standard benefits such as health and safety rules that can be applied across the board, the company's workforce demographics and personality are the best measures to guide you in choosing a wellness policy that strikes the perfect balance for your business. Ignoring the unmet needs of your employees places the company at risk of high employee turnover and low employee loyalty - something that can cost a company 1.5 to 3 times an employee's annual salary.
Begin with implementing a routine and confidential employee survey to ascertain employee satisfaction levels, and identify any unmet needs. Finally, be sure to research your competitors and industry trends. Maybe the employees in your company's industry are moving to a more remote work schedule. Alternatively, perhaps your employee stress levels are high and they would prefer more mental or financial facilities/counseling on site.
More than 50,000 employees die annually from occupational injuries, which places businesses and families in a very vulnerable position. Therefore, building a health and safety policy including insurance can mitigate future costs for the business and provide security for the employee. Standard inclusions are life and long term care insurance, retirement plans, and disability insurance. You may also want to consider including employee liability insurance and family medical leave in your policy. The key here is to build your health and safety strategy around your workforce. Therefore, if you have a small business or rely heavily on freelancers, securing small business workers comp insurance and liability coverage would be needed, but your retirement package takes on a smaller role.
Recent studies have shown that 65 percent of managers say they have been approached about mental health issues. However, creating mental health support involves much more than promoting existing therapy services. It also includes educating your workforce on proactive behaviors to practice should they find themselves facing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or stress. Giving employees the tools and knowledge to recognize the initial signs of mental health issues means you are giving them the power to address them earlier and minimize the impact on their productivity. In addition, it can help them recognize these signs amongst their colleagues and promote a collaborative and supportive workplace.
While the majority of employees are interested in employee wellness programs, two thirds of them underestimate the potential financial incentives available through these programs. This means 67 percent of them are missing out on the financial help their employers are willing to give to keep their workforce healthy and happy. A simple induction seminar for new employers covering the services offered, where to access resources, and a few external resource suggestions is a good way to start. For existing employees, regular circulation of benefit reminders and annual employee-management meetings can prove to be effective in educating the workforce and also in pinpointing any new or one-off need.
Even small changes such as involving your employees in the formulation of an employee wellness policy can make a difference. The more employees support their workforce's well-being (emotional, physical, mental and financial), the better it is for the business, both on the inside and the outside.