Holistic Well-being – It’s Good Business

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Holistic Well-being – It’s Good Business

June 26, 2015 / Employee Engagement

177698593People are at the core of every business. That’s why it’s so important for companies to take care of their employees and support them in leading their healthiest, most fulfilling lives—both in and out of the workplace.

That’s no small task. Modern life has us on-the-go and plugged in 24/7. We’re eating poorly because it’s easier to grab fast food than cook a healthy meal after a long day. Blurred lines between work and home life mean we’re checking emails, scanning news, and social networking instead of turning in early for a good night’s sleep.

Beyond the Treadmill

Fortunately, employers are catching on and taking a more holistic approach to workplace well-being programs. More than 78 percent of employers are expanding beyond physical wellness to include broader areas of well-being, like financial wellness and mental health, our recent survey released in conjunction with Employee Wellbeing Month found. That’s a trend in the right direction.

Last week, the Washington Post highlighted how some companies are approaching well-being programs. The article does a great job outlining the importance of supporting well-being through things like on-site fitness classes and flexible work arrangements, but companies need to do more to support the whole person that comes to work each day.

Providing resources that support all aspects of employee well-being creates a workforce of engaged, enthusiastic people who are passionate about their work and drive meaningful business results. Did you know that employees who get enough sleep gain 2.5 hours of workday productivity? Yep, it’s true. Encourage employees to cut out afternoon caffeine and put down their devices in the evening as simple ways to improve sleep habits. You’ll find that better sleep is not only good for your workforce but it’s good for your business, too.

A Different Take on ROI

It can be hard to measure the ROI of wellness programs, and that’s why it’s key to create well-being programs that don’t focus solely on healthcare cost savings as a measure of success. Instead, include them in a broader view of impact– one that looks at employee engagement, productivity, and culture measures. These are all part of the top line outcomes employers can see as a result of effective well-being programs.

The ROI of wellness programs may not always easily be calculated in short-term dollars and cents, but their value can be seen across the business. According to a recent survey, 70 percent of employees say that health habits impact their ability to focus on the job. We also know that happy, healthy employees are more engaged at work and in their personal lives. Companies with engaged employees have 48 percent fewer safety incidents and 41 percent fewer quality incidents, according to Gallup. And engaged employees are 21 percent more productive and take 37 percent fewer sick days—all factors that ultimately drive your business.

Leading employers recognize that nurturing well-being and helping employees replenish are important components of a thriving organization. The investment in supporting habits that matter will be returned through a more energetic, focused workforce that feels valued and loves coming to work. And we believe that if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your business.

Kerry Bryant is Senior Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Virgin Pulse, where she develops and tells stories about health and well-being. She believes in the power of small, healthy steps to become habits that matter and ultimately change lives. In her spare time, Kerry can be found planning her next travel adventure or nose-deep in a book at the beach. Follow her on Twitter: @kez_bryant

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