There is an increasing amount of data emerging connecting employee engagement with wellness. Successful companies are those that protect their human capital – their most valuable asset. Yet still workplace wellness initiatives are considered a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than a strategic business driver, with 2019 US figures from Gallup showing that whilst employee engagement has risen to 34%, two thirds of the workplace are still not fully engaged. Employees want more from workplace health benefits…and they want it to add value to all aspects of their daily lives.
To quote Forbes “Healthy employees are happier and show higher rates of job satisfaction. Engaged employees show up to work with a bounce in their step and are less vulnerable to stress, a significant driver of poor health”
Ultimately the services a company offers are only ever as good as the people delivering them. So engagement is key. For many businesses employee health is seen as an HR novelty rather than a key performance indicator (KPI). Yet unhealthy and un-engaged employees have the ability to seriously destabilize workplace culture, productivity and innovation, negatively affecting the bottom line.
The last decade has shown that stress and mental health at work are becoming mainstream discussions. A survey by Careerbuilder showed that 61% of employees are burned out by their work with symptoms manifesting themselves both physically (fatigue, aches and pains, weight gain) and mentally (depression, anxiety, anger). 2020 Global Medical Trends claim that “Mental health disorders are common in the workforce globally; around three in 10 employees suffer from severe stress, anxiety or depression.” with employers shouldering much of the burden. This highlights both the undeniable connection between health and engagement, and the important role the workplace plays in mediating mental health and wellness. Promoting a positive culture and empowering employees to manage their physical and mental wellness through structured initiatives, workshops, preventative health checks, and healthy eating programs is one of the most affective ways to build stress resilience and boost employee wellness.
There’s lots to gain from investing in employee health and engagement but to do so successfully it needs to permeate the very core of the company including the physical environment. Creating spaces and facilities to encourage healthy habits is fundamental to changing behaviours such as, ergonomic work spaces, natural or appropriate light, optimal temperature control, break-rooms, healthy eating options for vending or on-site restaurants, or kitchen facilities for self preparation.
A healthy company culture needs to be built intentionally with commitment from company leaders. People in power positions – i.e., senior management and vice presidents – are the least stressed of all workers according to Career Builder demonstrating an imbalance in workplace wellness. Yet stats reveal that when a workplace wellness initiative is integrated 61% of employees report making healthier lifestyle choices thanks to the program resulting in higher productivity and job satisfaction. Whilst a survey carried out by Glassdoor on 1077 US adults 87% of employees believe their company should support them in achieving better work-life balance.
The bottom line, according to Gallup, is that healthy and engaged employees show 21% greater profitability, with a 41% reduction in absenteeism. “Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, presence, and energy”.
Is your company one of the successful 1/3 of businesses with engaged employees? Or is performance suffering due to being one of the 2/3 with disengaged, unmotivated employees?
Investing in a workplace wellness initiative is an important first step to building an intentionally healthy and engaged workforce.
With 12+ years in the corporate world working for Multi-National FMCG’s
Registered Nutritionist & Dietary Educator
Certified Health Coach (NLP) and Metabolic Balance® Coach
Claire Sambolino MSc mBANT mCNHC mIFM
+39 334 858 7982
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