The best way to look after them is by taking care of their mental, physical and emotional health – by making wellness your business asset protection plan, if you like. And, as part of that plan, promoting simple, behavioural habits that will make a real difference to how your employees feel.
It stands to reason – if people are operating at optimum wellness, if they are feeling good and feeling healthy, they’re going to be more engaged. Individuals blossom in supportive environments. Teams are at their most creative when they are fully engaged. They will enjoy going the extra mile.
There are many real world examples, where leading organisations have built their financial success on taking a caring approach to their employees. Research is providing objective evidence of the link between employee wellness and engagement. All of which is good news for your people and good news for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the industry facts:
Survey results from the non-profit Health Enhancement Research Organisation (HERO) reveal more than 90% of business leaders say that promoting wellness can affect employee productivity and performance.
According to a Gallup poll, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%. Yes, you read that right. Two hundred and two percent.
The Engage for Success (E4S) movement unearthed some significant links between wellbeing and engagement: Wendy Cartwright, former HR Director of the Olympic Delivery Authority, is its Chair. She says: “When organisations really pay attention to the factors that facilitate staff wellbeing, this can help to generate a feeling of connection with the organisation and stronger employee engagement.”
A 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study in the US found that a wellness culture – driven by workplace wellbeing programmes, initiatives such as agile working and physical and environmental factors – drives increased engagement.
Five ways that wellness can have a positive impact on employee engagement
1 Builds employee engagement
EIU research proves that wellness programmes align employer and employee goals more closely. It shows that employees in organisations with an established wellness culture are more than twice as likely (that’s 67% vs 31 %) to be engaged with its mission and goals. Interestingly, it also reveals the stark cost of not building a wellness culture – on employee happiness, stress levels and, fundamentally, engagement with the employer’s mission and long term goals.
2 Reduces stress
Whilst a little stress can be a good thing, too much has a damaging effect on people’s ability to perform at their best. PwC focused its wellness programme on reducing stress and building resilience and found that “We’ve seen measurable improvements after running the pilot programme with wellbeing scores up by 17 points and engagement scores up by eight points.” It’s a no-brainer. If employees are stressed, they’re not likely to be that engaged in their work. Likewise, engaged individuals are less likely to experience work-related stress.
3 Reduces absenteeism
All HR professionals are on a mission to reduce absenteeism – of course they are. It costs money, has a negative impact on team performance and reduces productivity. Research by Britain’s Healthiest Workplace found that British employers are losing an average 30.4 days of productive time per employee, per year, due to time off sick or underperforming in the office as a result of ill-health. Alarmingly, that equates to six weeks of time. If we support our employees’ wellness, they’re more likely to be engaged and less likely to be off sick too.
4 Builds good teams
A wellness culture means that employees work together better and make the most of their collective talents. Like illness, wellness is contagious. If we can get employees looking after themselves and staying healthy, they’re likely to influence their colleagues to do the same. Check out this article from Business News Daily on how employees being focused on the wellbeing of others can improve team performance.
5 Helps keep the best people
According to a report carried out by Oxford Economics replacing a member of staff costs around £30k per employee due to lost output while the newbie gets up to speed and the logistical cost of recruiting. That’s some serious money. Engaged employees are less likely to jump ship to the competition. So who wouldn’t want wellness as part of their talent strategy?
According to the RAND corporation over 85% of businesses in America with more than 1,000 employees have some kind of formal wellness programme. They’re not all doing it out of the goodness of their hearts – they’re doing it because it helps them succeed in their core purpose. Because it makes people more engaged. Because it’s good business. Because it’s a key part of their corporate DNA.
Find out more about how Welbot can help wellness at work become part of your employee retention and engagement strategy.