Health Matters News

Why should you care about employee wellness?

Across the world, top companies are investing in employee wellness programs as a crucial part of their business. Consider this fact during Corporate Wellness Week from 1-5 July – whether you have a small or a large small business.

Why? Because studies have shown that the cost of a wellness programme is far less than not having one. Workplace wellness initiatives add to current health and safety programmes. They focus on activities that will improve the health and wellbeing of the workforce – and mental and emotional well-being are just as important as physical health.

Studies have shown that giving attention to wellness can reduce employees’ health risk factors by up to 56% – thereby reducing ill-health and disability. Healthy employees take an average of two days sick leave a year, compared to 18 days for persons with unhealthy lifestyles. They are also more focused, energetic and productive. They make fewer mistakes and are less prone to accidents and injuries.

Over the long term, wellness programmes have been shown to make for happier employees who feel appreciated.  This reduces turnover, boosts morale, increases productivity – by up to 15%, and enhances the corporate image.

Considering all the above, investing in employee well-being makes good business sense. And improving employee wellness doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t have to spend large sums of money on costly gym equipment to make a difference.

One only needs to create a culture of caring for the needs of employees – knowing what challenges each is facing. The main trend in health care today is self-care and the ideal wellness programme will provide individual employees with the tools and enable and encourage them, to practice self-care.

Many people need the knowledge, motivation, and support to adopt healthier lifestyles and/or to address existing health problems. A few simple ideas for no-cost activities include making allowance for flexible working hours; providing educational material on healthy living; arranging fitness and weight loss challenges; and encouraging walking meetings.

The most important is for every senior manager to commit to the wellness programme – healthy workers make for healthy organisations.

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