The last year has been challenging for all of us. Lay-offs, passing of loved ones, and social isolation are just a few things Americans have faced which is why employee wellness matters, especially now. And as a result, mental health concerns are at an all-time high and regaining financial stability is a leading priority among many.
So as the cultural and corporate landscape has shifted, so too must our approach to employee wellness. For corporate leaders and advocates in this post-pandemic dawn, it’s imperative that internal wellness infrastructures are re-examined, ensuring that employees are feeling supported, now more than ever.
Employee Wellness: In Context
Employee wellness looks different for every company, but typically some level of organized monthly activity, such as seminars, webinars, health fairs, onsite biometric screenings, and vaccinations are included.
These monthly activities usually augment more permanent wellness benefits, like flexible sick and personal time and work-from-home policies; gym membership discounts; and healthy options in the vending machines and company lunchrooms.
But while employee wellness is designed to benefit employees, the value that comes with having an effective plan in place comes at a great benefit to the company as well. Increased productivity, higher quality of work, lower turnover, lower insurance costs and an overall more engaged workforce as a result of having effective wellness offerings can offer a domino-effect of other positive outcomes.
Why Effective Employee Wellness Is Needed
Fostering a healthy and engaged workforce breeds a culture with an invaluable ROI. In fact, according to a 2017 study, companies with highly engaged teams show a 21% higher profitability margin. In contrast, disengaged employees have been shown to cost companies $550 billion per year due to higher turnover rates and lower productivity.
Workplace wellness that boosts employee engagement and offer support are effective quite simply for one reason: they encourage your employees to take investment in their work.
And why does that matter? Because studies show that investment, engagement and support bolsters productivity, increases retention, reduces turnover, and makes your company even more attractive to prospective candidates. And as the economy continues to strengthen and people try to rebuild their lives, these elements are more important now than ever, both for the employee and for the employer.
Is Your Employee Wellness Doing Enough?
According to the CDC, anxiety and depression among Americans rose considerably from April to June of 2020. In late June, 40% of adults surveyed reported struggling with mental health and substance abuse. That’s a huge percentage.
In response to this alarming spike, the CDC has put out a call for increased public prevention efforts and health communication strategies. For corporate leaders and members of HR, this means that not only offering basic employee wellness programs to bolster engagement and investment, but now these offerings should be examined and perhaps expanded to meet new societal challenges.
What Should Your Next Steps Be?
Take inventory of your current employee wellness, both for onsite (if your employees are returning to the office) and remote staff. When’s the last time your company offered a wellness program or service? Is there a plan in place for a consistent strategy moving forward? Have your employees expressed any common concerns or challenges? Can your company do more?
The answers to these questions are crucial for developing an effective roadmap in these ‘new normal’ times. Assuming that pre-pandemic efforts are still improving your employees’ health and wellness may be detrimental to your workforce and ultimately also, to your company’s growth. Contact us today for an employee wellness consultation. We’ll make sure you’ve got the right plan in place.
This is Why Employee Wellness Matters, Especially Now.