How Workplace Wellness can help to reduce stress, while improving happiness, productivity, and bottom line.

Intro

There is no doubt that one of the many factors of a company’s success is its workforce. Without the efforts of its employees, no business endeavor would prosper. But how can businesses ensure that their employees will deliver? For employees to reach their full potential and optimize their productivity, they should feel that they are not just numbers. They should know that their presence, efforts, and contributions to the company are indeed important and acknowledged. Because of this, it is paramount that organizations create a work environment that promotes positivity, and physical and emotional wellness.

Promoting workplace wellness has numerous benefits. This has been proven by different industry studies, such as the one conducted by Corporate Wellness Magazine, and by many companies that haved implemented wellness initiatives for their employees.

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1. Better Productivity at Work

Have you ever had an employee who called in sick every month? Is there a member in your team or organization who just couldn’t complete a day’s tasks within his 8-hour shift?

Unhealthy employees often miss work, and unhappy employees, although are physically capable of coming to work and getting the job done, have the tendency to find all the excuses just to miss work. Malingering, loitering, and producing mediocre or poor quality output are only a few of the many common things that unhappy and unhealthy employees may do. And the worst part is? One person who is not physically and/or emotionally well enough to work can affect the entire team’s productivity and may cost your business A LOT of money. Sure, catching up to complete the tasks that haved not been done is possible, but this causes backlogs; everyone spends more energy and time on old tasks that could have been spent on a new project, causing undue stress.

Employee wellness helps organizations ensure that the employees live a healthy lifestyle and are surrounded by positivity in the workplace. By doing this, organizations will have healthier and happier employees, who have better concentration and higher energy levels, thus are able to accomplish their tasks or even go above and beyond.

2. Decreased Overall Cost

Effective wellness initiatives at work can lower down healthcare costs. According to a study conducted by Health Affair, the amount of savings from taking part in a wellness program can even exceeds the actual cost of the program. The study specifies that for every dollar an organization spends on a wellness program, healthcare costs drop by about $3.27, and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 on average.

The study also cites big companies that swears by the positive impact of wellness programs on their ROI. For instance, Citibank Health Management Program was reportedly able to save $4.50 in employee medical expenses for every dollar they spent on wellness programs. Indeed, workplace wellness is not only good for the employees but also for the business’s budget.

3. Reduced Stress in Employees

NPR conducted a survey in July 2016 wherein a significant number of the participants confessed that their jobs are affecting their stress level and overall health. Difficulty in concentrating, forgetfulness, reduced efficiency, problems in communicating and learning, and body pains, are only a few of among the many common effects of stress, according to the American Institute of Stress. In reality, many employees experience these without knowing that they are slowly consumed by workplace stress. Many employers see their employees experience these, but do not have programs in place to help their employees combat stress.  Imagine an employee with all those symptoms. Not a big deal? Think again. It may even cost your business a lot of money in the long run.

Promoting wellness in your workplace provides a great opportunity to your employees to lose their habits and behaviors  that are detrimental to their health and overall well-being. Although it may be impossible to completely eliminate get rid of stress in your workplace, effective wellness programs allow you and your employees to handle stress and use a healthy amount of it for creativity and productivity. And if your push your employees to at least participate, there is a great chance that the employees will maintain the healthy habits for many years to come.

4. Increased Satisfaction and Builds Employee Loyalty

Promoting wellness in the workplace is expressing that the employees are being valued and appreciated by the company. It is saying the organization wants its employees to be happy and healthy. In other words, giving them the opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle is showing that you care about them and that you want them to be their best and to have an exceptional performance at work. This alone proves to the employees that you want to keep them. Sure, they can find another job, but it’s not guaranteed that they will be valued the same way.

5. Happy Clients and Customers

Many business leaders, such as Virgin Group CEO Sir Richard Branson, believe that happy employees mean happy customers. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said that “the best way to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers was to hire and train great people, we invested in employees.” Justworks VP of Customer and Employee Success Jason Whitman also said that to achieve customer happiness, focus on employee happiness first.

Mountains of evidence prove that happy employees who are passionate about their work have a huge impact on the company’s relationship with its customers. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report says that employee engagement has a positive effect on customer relationships, with a 20% increase in sales. And besides, positive energy is contagious, right? Customers who are treated right and are valued will do business with you again and again.

Victor Egbuna

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