Spring is a time of healing, so appropriately many executives are starting to recognize the importance of their role in helping employees maintain a sense of wellness. Companies are extending wellness policies, promoting physical health, and offering more assistance for mental health issues. This outlook helps not only in a humanitarian way but also the bottom line.
Today’s workplace is much different than that of yesteryear. At one time, clear 9:00am to 5:00pm delimiters separated a person’s work and personal lives. Technology advances have increasingly been infringing on employees’ personal time and blurring the line between the two.
One ripple effect is an increase in stress, perhaps because individuals lack a place where they can relax and unwind. In fact, 40% of all workers experience high levels of stress and anxiety, according to a survey conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
The Pandemic Was a Major Downer
Such problems became more pronounced once Covid 19 hit. The pandemic caused stress to rise even further, and employees’ well-being to be threatened even more. Workers dealt with personal and professions stressors that affected their outlook, productivity, health, family, and stability.
Compounding the problems, much of the business world shifted from a central office to working from home. The new remote work arrangements increased the “Always Available” outlook, where managers expect employees to respond whenever the business needs them. In fact, 66% of staff agree that working from home blurred the lines between work life and home life, and 60% said that the model increased the pressure to respond to work outside of office hours, according to a survey by Aetna.
The changes negatively impacted employees’ health. Eighty-nine percent of workers said that their work life was getting worse, 85% said that their well-being declined, and 56% said that their job demands had increased, according to the Harvard Business Review
Create Safe Spaces
Employees bring their feelings into the office every day, and they impact how well they perform. To ensure that employees are in a good frame of mind when they walk through the front door, companies need to create a space that promotes safety, mentally as well as physically.
How? The first step is opening communication about such issues. Companies want to make it clear to employees that they care about their health and well-being. They also need to put programs in place, so workers gain access to various professional services and in a confidential manner when appropriate.
Exercise is a good way to relive stress. Employees who sit long hours in an office need time to move around and get their blood pumping. Providing on-site gym services and fitness classes or paying for health care membership spurs employees to keep fit. The growing range of fitness devices enables individuals to track their activity and even prods them to get up, get out, smell the fresh air, and invigorate themselves during the workday
Quiet time is also needed. Companies need to allow employees to schedule downtime during the day when they can walk, meditate, or even catch a few Zzs. A siesta after lunch during a hectic day enables one to recharge. To encourage such behavior, companies create a nap room where workers who want to unwind can go.
Employee Mental Health Analytics
New solutions are emerging that enable managers to track employee activity. They capture information, like regular and weekend hours worked; use of paid time off (PTO); travel details, such as nights in a hotel, number of flights and train rides; and self-reported energy levels (low, medium, high). Managers and employees use the information to mitigate burnout and promote work and personal balance.
Employees Are Very Unhappy
Managers now need to take steps to address such problems ASAP. Why? Employee dissatisfaction is running rampant. In fact, more than one third of staff plan to leave their current jobs in the next 12 months, according to Eagle Hill Consulting LLC.
Corporations had already been experiencing a difficult time finding employees. In fact, seven in 10 employers globally say they have trouble hiring workers with the right mix of technical skills and human capabilities in areas like Operations and Logistics, Manufacturing and Production, IT, and Sales and Marketing, as stated by Manpower Group.
Wellness Programs Deliver Tangible Benefits
However, wellness programs improve the company’s bottom line. Well-being is positively correlated with employee productivity, organizational profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee retention, from the Global Happiness and Well-Being Policy Report published by the Global Happiness Council.
Corporations gain tangible financial benefits. Deloitte found the median yearly ROI on mental health programs was $1.62 among seven companies that provided at least three years’ worth of data. Corporations whose programs had been in place for three or more years had a median yearly ROI of $2.18.
In addition, workplaces with comprehensive wellness programs experience less absenteeism than their counterparts. They are in work because they are healthier and experience less stress, so they come into work.
Consequently, businesses are investing in such solutions in growing numbers. The global corporate wellness market generated $52.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6.9% and reach $97.4 billion in 2027
The days of separating employees’ personal and professional lives are in the rear-view mirror. To attract and retain top talent, corporations need to do more than provide them with a paycheck. They must create a workplace that boosts employees’ physical and mental wellness.
Do you want to develop a workplace wellness program for your employees? Let us help you transform your organization into a more thriving, happy, inclusive, and collaborative work environment. Contact True Synergy at [email protected].