October 24, 2019

3 Signs that a wellness strategy should be top of your priority list

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Corporate wellness initiatives are on the rise. After all, no company can be successful without paying attention to the wellbeing of its employees. In fact, 75% of employers offer some form of wellness program. However, with multiple priorities facing HR Leaders, initiating and maintaining a comprehensive wellness strategy internally can be an ongoing struggle.

What are the red flags that your company would benefit from a holistic employee wellness strategy? From high absenteeism to low morale, here are three signs that a wellness strategy should be top of your priority list.

 

Costly Absenteeism

The U.S. Dept. of Labor estimates that on any given day three percent of an employer’s workforce is absent, with illness (from seasonal viruses or chronic diseases) being the number one reason for missed work. Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), productivity losses from missed work cost employers $225.8 billion, or $1,685 per employee, each year.

In contrast, physically active employees are absent less frequently than their inactive counterparts. Indiana State Department of Health found that employers save, on average, $5.82 in lower absenteeism costs for every dollar spent on wellness programs. Promoting healthy habits benefits employers, and importantly, employees too. Regular daily exercise not only lowers the risk of chronic disease but can also reduce stress and boost self-esteem.

 

High Staff Turnover

According to a recent Gallup poll, 51% of employees are currently looking at new job opportunities. This is an expensive problem. Not only can it cost an employer an average of 50-60% of a worker's annual salary to hire and train a replacement, high turnover negatively impacts morale and the capacity to deliver services.

How can an employee wellness strategy help? Companies that implement employee wellness programs supported by senior leaders report higher employee satisfaction and improvement of company culture, which is linked to higher retention rates. Research conducted by the American Psychological Association has found that fewer (only 25%) employees in companies with employee wellness programs intend to leave their job in the next year. In companies without employee wellness programs, twice as many employees (51%) said they plan to vacate their role in the following year.

 

Challenges Attracting Talent

PwC’s most recent Annual Global CEO Survey revealed that more than 70 percent of CEOs identify the “availability of key skills” as one of the top three threats to their companies. In 2020, recruiting top talent stands out as a particularly daunting challenge for HR practitioners.

Research has found that implementing an employee wellness program improves your employer brand and helps you attract great candidates. This is because employees want wellness programs: 45% of employees working at small to medium-size companies would stay at their jobs longer because of their employers’ wellness programs. Nearly 54% of Gen Zers and 58% of millennials consider company wellness programs important or extremely important when making a job decision.

 

The Bottom Line

Companies, like people, benefit from holistic wellness strategies, and creating sustained change is easier than you think, especially with the right technology. If you want to save money, increase job productivity and job satisfaction, as well as improve your company culture and your employer brand, then now is the right time to get started.

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