What is the Value of Wellness in the Workforce?
There is nothing better than a happy workforce because let’s face it, nobody wants employees who don’t want to work for your company. And whilst you can’t guarantee happiness, many companies are going over and above to ensure their employees’ mental and physical well-being is taken care of which can go a long way in helping them be happy.
In fact, we have ten of the best corporate wellness experts in the world who will be giving us their best tips and advice to ensure you can look after your employees. In our first corporate wellness panel piece, we’ve asked our experts what the value of wellness can be in your workforce.
The concept of value on investment (VOI) is slowing replacing return on investment (ROI) in the employee wellness industry. This means the value employers look for and realize from employee wellness programs is moving from a strictly financial return on reduced medical costs to one that includes the financial and non-financial benefits from healthy and engaged employees, including higher retention, satisfaction, and productivity. For many organizations, the areas they are realizing value from employee health are expanding, delivering unanticipated benefits. For example, Metro Nashville Public Schools saw their wellness program improve student achievement.
Nick Patel, CEO of Wellable.
Wellbeing isn’t just a ‘nice to have.’ It’s the key to keeping your employees motivated, engaged and productive – all of which directly impact a business’s bottom line. A proactive approach to wellbeing can improve your chances of preventing problems which might otherwise lead to long-term absence from work. Companies have noticed wellness programmes can improve customer service levels. By showing employees you care about their wellbeing, they’re more likely to look after your company and your customers.
Liz Walker, HR Director at Unum UK.
Modern technology has given us plenty of benefits and conveniences, but with one major drawback: Most of us sit at a desk for forty (or more) hours a week, most weeks of the year. In effect, the very thing can make us productive, profitable employees can also harm our health—perhaps permanently. A sedentary lifestyle raises the risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as a loss of muscle and bone strength and weight gain. As a result, the value of wellness in the workplace is two-fold. First, it helps your employees improve their health and feel better, which builds a more productive workforce, boosts camaraderie, and more efficient work. Secondly, it benefits your company’s bottom line: Wellness programs have been proven to lower health insurance rates, lower attrition rates, and work as a great recruitment strategy to attract qualified talent to your organization.
Sammy Courtright, Founder and CEO of Fitspot Wellness.
When talking about the value of wellness, this depends on the needs of both an individual employee and the business itself. There is without doubt always value to be gained when implementing any wellness strategy into an organisation, the specific value it brings depends on the key objective of the strategy and the success of the programme. Wellbeing is no longer a nice to have, it is an essential part of any employee engagement strategy.
Lucy Tallick, Head of Wellbeing at Reward Gateway.
1.3 million people suffer from work-related ill-health each year, which according to the Thriving at Work review, costs UK employers between £33 billion and £42 billion. Creating a working environment which allows employees to flourish and achieve their full potential benefits everyone. Measurable benefits include improved productivity, a stronger competitive advantage, lower absenteeism and presenteeism, as well as higher staff morale which means fewer people leaving your organisation.
Alaana Linney, Director of Business Development at Nuffield Health.
All great leaders will tell you that its people are at the heart of any successful business and whether a business thrives or survives will come down to that most precious asset. The average person will spend approximately 90,000 hours of their life working and with added pressures, stresses and strains, poor health and well-being is costing the UK economy up to £57 billion a year in lost productivity. A direct correlation is now seen between strong employee engagement, wellbeing and a company’s bottom line. Historically the success of any employee programme has been typically measured in ROI but as the sector and indeed businesses shift into an era of wellbeing, aspirations turn beyond monetary values and forward-thinking businesses look at introducing a whole new set of KPIs, also known as value on investment (VOI). VOI helps a business to understand how employee health and wellbeing can interact and affect business outcomes. In time I believe we will see a mix of both these indicators within company reports.
Joe Gaunt, CEO of Hero Wellbeing.
We hear the words people are our competitive advantage from just about every company. In a world where there is a talent shortage for many roles it is important that prospective and existing employees feel that the company sees their wellbeing as being important. Well thought out wellbeing programmes benefit employees on a practical level in that they lead to lower levels of stress, improved physical and mental health and improved self-image. Similarly, the business benefits of these programmes include a competitive edge during recruitment, retention of employees, decreased rates of illness, improved employee relations and engagement all leading to increased productivity.
Shaun Bradley, Director of People at Perkbox.
It’s a no-brainer that staff who are healthy and feel good are more productive, motivated and perform better. Traditional wellbeing benefits include a subsidised gym membership and dental care, but we now know that wellbeing is about far more than just physical fitness. Employees need to take a holistic approach to their wellbeing strategy and look at all areas of health including physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and consider the importance of how they’re all interconnected.
Ruth Tongue, Founder of Elevate Your Health.
Its two-fold. For a company’s people it’s all about empowering them to be their best selves, mentally and physically, giving them the resilience and energy, they need for work and home. For companies it’s about attracting and keeping the best people and creating a solid foundation for success. The best people tend to be drawn to companies who truly demonstrate they care for their people’s wellbeing. In turn they’re likely to me more productive and engaged and less likely to take time off due to ill-health which has to be a win-win all round!!
Sam Fromson, Chief Operating Officer at Yulife UK.
For a wellbeing program to be successful, it’s important to include a measurement strategy that can tie wellbeing efforts directly to business outcomes. Organisations that measure their efforts have been successful at making a business case for wellbeing programs improving employee engagement and becoming an employer of choice. By providing stakeholders with return on investment analytics, you’re able to prove that when you invest in the wellbeing of your employees, you’re investing in the success of your business. This results in a great company culture and an empowered workforce full of happier, healthier and more productive employees.
Jill King, Director of International Markets at VirginPulse.