“Happy spouse, happy house,” is more than just a euphemism, it’s a fact of human relationships. Moreover, it translates into the workplace as well. Happy, well-adjusted workers are both more productive and more loyal to the company, which is but one aspect of why you should invest in employee well being.
What is Employee Wellbeing?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy person is one who enjoys physical, mental and social wellbeing. This goes beyond what we tend to think of as traditional illnesses, such as diseases and disabilities, to encompass every aspect of a person’s being.
Thus, a person experiencing wellbeing is one who realizes their potential, copes well with the stresses of life, works productively and contributes to their community. When it comes to the workplace, this means a state of true contentment in which a person can flourish. This, in turn, is a manifestation of achieving work/life balance, along with mental and physical health, as well as job satisfaction and contentment.
Addressing Physical, Social and Financial Concerns
While employee wellness program tends to focus on the physical aspects of a person, a well-rounded employee wellbeing initiative also takes financial and psychological concerns into consideration. Thus, when we discuss employee wellbeing, we’re talking about physical health, financial health and mental health.
After all, the three are interrelated.
Possessing the energy and fitness to perform is fundamental to the productivity of an employee. Benefits and wellness programs that address this aspect of an employee’s life can serve to help ensure this is the case.
Meanwhile, regardless of an employee’s income level, financial problems at home can compromise physical and mental health. Worry and stress take a debilitating toll on an individual, making it difficult for them to perform at peak efficiency.
Providing access to financial information and services to help your people understand how to manage their money can head these issues off before they become a thing.
Underlying those concerns is the effect they can have on the emotional state of workers. A solid employee wellbeing plan includes mental health days and incentives for caring for emotional health.
Employee Wellbeing, Productivity, Profit and Costs
One of the most common signs of poor employee wellbeing in an organization is a high absenteeism rate. This has a direct impact on your ability to accomplish goals, meet deadlines and just generally be productive.
In other words, employee wellbeing and engagement go hand-in-hand. Taking that one step further, engaged employees also make stronger positive impressions on customers, which has a direct impact on sales — and your bottom line. Studies have shown that for every single dollar invested in employee wellbeing, a return of $1.15 to $8 is realized.
According to the experts at Mercer, one of the world’s leading HR consulting firms, in addition to increased productivity and profitability, employee wellbeing programs addressing total health solutions also result in:
1% to 2% lower medical cost trend
41% lower healthcare costs
35% lower turnover costs
31% higher productivity
48% better stock appreciation
Source: HERO Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer, 2014. Results may vary.
The New Paradigm
In the past, if an employee lacked wellbeing, their condition was often dismissed as their personal issue. However, employers who address these concerns head-on realize positive returns on the investment. After all, people whose wellbeing is intact miss work less frequently, deal with change more readily and more capably and just generally perform at a higher level.
Which is why you should invest in employee wellbeing.