Why contributing to your employees’ wellbeing is good for business

According to our latest Employment Monitor, over 60% of workers don’t feel like their employer contributes to their wellbeing. In a time where our health is valued more than ever, failing to have a wellness offering can affect employee retention and hiring efforts. Employers need to stop looking at wellness programs as a non-essential perk and embrace workplace wellness as an important asset.

How wellness programs improve business

Less absenteeism & the associated costs

A study by the Small Firms Association found that sick leave cost small businesses up to €490 million a year with the main culprits being back pain, anxiety and stress. Providing simple measures, such as subsidised gym classes or fresh fruit in the office, to improve the overall health of your employees can help you save on ROI altering health care costs.

Wellness programs also reinforce positive habits which can reduce sick leave and absenteeism. Flexible work options also fall into this category. If an employee has a particularly long and laborious commute, allowing them to work at home a few days a week can reduce stress levels and improve health.

Increased productivity

Employees who are healthy, both physically and mentally, are more productive. A study from the University of California which tested the impact of wellness programs at laundry plants, established that for every $100 spent on its wellness initiative, the company earned $176 in output from its staff. Encouraging your employees to look after their mental health is increasingly important, as statistics reveal 1 in 4 of us will fight a mental health problem this year – here are 7 simple tips to promote good mental wellbeing.

Improved employee morale

When employees feel like their physical and mental health are valued it increases the sense of goodwill employees feel towards their employer. In turn employees have a greater loyalty and become more invested in their work. Doing healthy team activities such as tag rugby or team runs can also improve collaboration and foster better workplace relationships which further benefits business encounters.

Retain top talent

It’s well reported that Ireland is almost at full employment, which means competition for top talent is high. Salary and compensation can only go so far when trying to retain your best employees. Adding wellness initiatives such as financial planning assistance or mindfulness programs, shows employees that you care about their complete wellbeing and you want them to feel good at work.

In a study by Harvard Business Review on what employees want most from an employer, one of the three key requirements is Community. This taps into employees desire to feel cared for and respected which can be aided through wellness programs.

While you can’t force your employees to make better decisions for their health, you can put measures in place to facilitate and encourage good health and wellbeing. This way, you can play an active role in improving their health and as a fortunate side effect, your company’s financial health also.

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