Published in The One Brief. Date unknown.
Business leaders are waking up to the fact that there’s a direct link between having physically and mentally healthy staff – and engagement and productivity.
To see the best results, employee wellbeing must be approached holistically – addressing both mental and physical health, social stimulation and levels of engagement – all the way up to giving their employees confidence about their financial wellbeing.
With health care costs rising – for both employers and employees alike – more and more companies are prioritizing wellbeing programs. From generous parental leave to “wellness weeks,” some of the world’s top brands like Apple and Microsoft could offer ideas for other business leaders looking to implement their own programs.
Learning From Leading Companies
Learning from best-in-class firms can point the way forwards for employers to create happier, healthier and, ultimately, more productive workforces. Here are some of the best practices that other businesses can introduce to their workplaces.
Increasing The Priority Of Workplace Wellbeing
Attention to workplace wellbeing is on the rise, with wellness initiatives being commonly reported as a method for mitigating the increase in the cost of medical plans by 71 percent of countries responding to Aon’s 2018 Global Medical Trend Rates report. Corporate wellness is now estimated to be a $43 billion market globally – although it should be noted that the proportion of the world’s workforce that currently enjoys access to workplace wellness programs is still less than 10 percent.
Stephanie Pronk, Senior Vice President of Health Transformation, Aon, highlights the role of workplaces in providing frontline wellbeing services: “Whereas it may be true that work and the work environment can generate stress and emotional health concerns for workers, it also seems that the workplace can have a positive effect when emotional fitness becomes a focal point to bring about positive impacts.”
With more and more time spent at work, employers are ideally placed to help address wellbeing needs right there in the physical space of the office.
For example, studies have found that employees who work at standing desks can find their productivity boosted by as much as 46 percent. And moving a printer unit to a distant corner of the office can encourage exercise. “How you create the space within the work environment becomes really important,” says Pronk.
The Business Case For Investing In Mental Health
It is estimated that depression and anxiety conditions cost the global economy $1 trillion every year, making psychological wellbeing an increasing priority. The good news is that investing in mental wellness programs sees a strong return on investment. The World Health Organization estimates that for every dollar invested in the treatment of depression and anxiety, there is a $4 return on investment.
When a company finds itself in a productivity rut, engagement is often at the heart of the issue. Improve engagement, and you’re on the right path to improving productivity. According to Aon’s 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, a five point increase in employee engagement is linked to a three point increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year.
One of the best ways of activating this engagement is by looking out for employee wellbeing. Among other things, employees who feel they are being cared for are 38 percent more engaged than their peers.
As global labor markets get more and more competitive, health care costs continue to rise, and productivity levels continue to waver, building a workplace that can attract, retain and nurture talent will be critical to creating a business that can succeed.
“The payoff is more satisfied and engaged employees, and that’s good for the health of the business,” says Pronk.