What Is The Importance Of Workplace Wellness In Your Organization
Are you ready to weave some magic into your workplace? As HR professionals, you have the power to create a workplace that's not just a bland cubicle farm but a vibrant, dynamic, and downright enchanting place to be.
From organizing team-building activities to creating a lively company culture, you can transform your workplace into a magical realm that inspires creativity and collaboration.
Workplace wellness has become more crucial in today's fast-paced corporate world, where employees are expected to juggle multiple tasks while meeting stringent deadlines.
A survey by Harvard Business Review shows that 79% of employees feel that wellness programs positively impact them. Hence, corporate wellness programs are vital in forming holistic development within your organization.
What is Workplace Wellness?
Workplace wellness is gaining the attention of every manager in the corporate industry. And this trend is only growing due to employees' increasing health issues due to an unhealthy work environment and strict deadlines. Work-related problems can affect employees' mental, physical, and emotional health, and if not attended timely, they may result in life-threatening cases. Hence, employers have realized that fostering a healthy ecosystem can lead to a productive workforce and excellent employee retention.
The bottom line for the organization is employee productivity. And employee health often acts as a roadblock and comes between their productivity. Hence encouraging workplace wellness within an organization has become a global priority. Enrolling in a wellness program can prove a worthy investment for employers to solve the issues faster.
It is a combined effort of health promotion by employers, employees, and society to create overall mental, physical, and emotional well-being for the people at work. It can be an organizational activity that comprises various events like health coaching, fitness programs, employee wellness program, etc.
Importance of Workplace Wellness
Employees spend the majority time in their offices. An unhappy, unhealthy employee will result in lousy performance, directly affecting your organization's outputs.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that:
- 59% of employees lack minimum exercise in their daily life
- More than 50% reported high levels of cholesterol
- 27% have cardiovascular problems
- 26% reported BMI as overweight
- 24% face difficulties because of high blood pressure
Do you know that mild to avoidable health hazards account for around 70 to 90 percent of healthcare expenses? In terms of lost productivity, it costs trillions of dollars. So employee wellbeing impacts more than just medical bills. Having a culture of wellness is of utmost importance in an organization. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce.
Establishing a culture that encourages wellness among your employees helps decrease job turnover, improve satisfaction, manage stress, reduce absenteeism, etc. It also helps in cost-saving extra expenses on preventive employee illness. And one way to leverage the culture of wellness in your organization is by providing employee wellness programs.
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, the five elements that determine a healthy working environment are Work-Life Balance, Health and Safety, Employee Growth and Development, Employee Recognition, and Employee Involvement. Hence including all the aspects of wellness must be an essential factor while designing wellness programs.
Here I have listed the top 5 benefits to grab your attention.
Benefits of having Employee Wellness Programs
1. Decreasing Health Risks
A prolonged period of inactivity always harms lifestyle. Some jobs require their employee to sit for long hours, which may adversely affect employees' health outcomes and wellness.
Employee wellness programs keep a regular check on employee health. It can be through biometric screenings, health campaigns, contests, etc. It helps avoid high-risk diseases early, keeping employees agile and active at your workplace.
2. Elevated Employee Engagements
Employers are trying hard to engage their employees in the workplace. Hence an employee wellness program can act as a catalyst to engage the active participation of all employees.
It includes various walkathons, sports events, health fairs, and weight management challenges, which give a holistic approach to choosing a healthy life. It empowers the employees and helps create a strong bond with the organization.
3. Reduction of Stress and Depression
Cases of stress and anxiety are among the employees. Now and then, work burnouts lead employees to job turnover. Unaccomplished deadlines or failed deals can create depression, sometimes proving fatal.
Introducing Workplace wellness programs, including meditation, yoga, or one-to-one sessions with a health coach, can help de-stress and create positive results in employees' mental aspects.
4. Saving Health Care Costs
Increasing healthcare costs has left everyone scratching their head. Employers are now enrolling in wellness programs that help reduce health costs to a more considerable extent—employees who participated actively in such programs led healthier life than before. A subsequent decrease in medical bills and checkups helped save many personal healthcare costs.
5. Low Rate of Absenteeism
Wellness programs make healthy employees less prone to health issues. It helps in becoming more focused and improves productivity at work. It decreases the absenteeism rate at the workplace, directly impacting the organization's growth.
Ways to Promote Workplace Wellness
1. Workplace mindfulness
Being mindful means paying attention to the present moment, your breath, your pulse, the feel of the wind on your cheeks, the sound of the clock ticking, and the flavor of a hot cup of cappuccino.
Practicing mindfulness involves:
- Remaining in the present.
- Not dwelling on the past or the future.
- Not allowing concerns or uncertainties to consume your thoughts.
2. Participation in challenges
Wellness challenges are an enjoyable and simple way to encourage employees to form healthy lifestyles. Create tasks that are suitable for various employees. These tasks can address numerous well-being issues.
You can motivate your staff by giving them these enjoyable challenges:
Yoga challenge: Yoga challenge over a month to improve physical health
Financial wellness challenge: You can try challenges like 52 weeks money challenge
Meditation challenge: Challenge yourself to a week of workplace meditation for better mental and emotional health.
Social well-being challenge: Paying for someone's food behind you in line at the drive-through is one example of a one-time "pay it forward" task for social well-being.
Some employees may gain from physical or mental health tasks. Others might be more affected by issues with their financial and emotional well-being.
The success of your wellness program can be increased by holding brief contests that expose team members to the resources accessible.
3. Cycling to and from Work
Research suggests that cycling is right for your health and the environment. It increases endurance and decreases the level of pollution coming from vehicles.
Hence employers can take advantage of this opportunity for their employees. Employees who live close to the organization can opt to commute by cycles. Also, employers can organize small cycling events that promote the cause of having good health.
4. Using Health Apps
With the advancement of technology, curating health issues has become just a matter of a few fingertips. Various health apps can help in providing expert advice regarding health issues. Corporate Health apps have become a smarter choice among tech-savvy corporate employees.
Go for an app that provides a holistic wellness approach instead of providing anything or everything.
For instance, you might not want to include a smoking cessation program in your health benefits if smoking is not prevalent in your workplace. In the interim, you could seek more comprehensive tools, like -
- Mood log
- Tracking water intake, etc
- Step count tracker
- Heart rate monitor
- Calorie counter
- Activity distance tracker through GPS
- Activity journal
- Health and wellness tips
It should also allow you to set up employee team tasks and serve as a fitness and diet planner, where you can develop nutritional and fitness-related tasks for your employees to participate in.
The health app should fulfill all the requirements for a smooth and user-friendly experience, like advanced features that track performance in real time. Employers should be able to create customized contests fostering hassle-free workplace engagements to support their employees.
On the other hand, gamifying your tasks with a scoreboard, chat, notifications, and a function for tracking personal wellness will boost engagement. Recognizing employees' accomplishments by awarding them badges and prizes will encourage your staff even more.
For example, winners can receive non-monetary rewards that can be redeemed later to buy different products. Sounds interesting? One such platform that allows you to do all these and much more is the Vantage Fit app.
5. Giving Importance to Flexibility
Working nonstop in a 9 to 5 job may sound daunting. Thanks to technology, that made work from home is a possible reality. Now people can work day and night from any corner of the world.
Then why are the cases of burnout so common?
Not all employees can indeed follow work-from-home routines. Hence employers must have a study that learns what work culture suits well with their employees. Encouraging flexibility creates a positive environment for your employees. It will help them be more productive with their work, directly boosting the work-life balance.
6. Using Stairs instead of Elevators
When did you use office stairs last?
Can't recall? Limiting the usage of the elevator has significant benefits for the body. It helps you burn many calories and strengthens your joints and muscles.
Employers may encourage using stairs for their employees at least one time during the day. It will help in creating physical activity among your power-drained employees.
7. Communicating with Your Employees
Smooth communication is a prime factor for an engaged and healthy workplace. Creating a culture that encourages sharing concerns and feelings will boost the morale of your employees. Implementing formal feedback sessions in your workplace will improve communication and align your employees to share company goals and values.
A sedentary lifestyle has become the new normal for everyone. Employees spend their maximum time sitting on their chairs, resulting in several health issues.
From cases of work burnout, depression, and obesity to fatal Heart Attacks and Cancer, creating a community that encourages wellness plans has become the need of the hour.
Now I would like to know from you:
How did you create workplace wellness in your organization?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Vantage Fit - A complete AI-Powered Solution for seamless implementation of your Corporate Wellness Program to nurture a healthy and engaged workforce