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The Business Benefits of Employee Well-Being in the Workplace

In business, health is wealth. Or at least, health is productivity. Employees in good physical and mental shape report higher levels of job satisfaction at work. A happy employee is a hard-working employee. It may be in the form of lunchtime yoga, or a yearly flu shot. But the benefits of employee well-being in the workplace touch both your team and your balance sheet. 

This clearly makes sense if your business depends on physical labor. But research shows that the benefits of employee well-being in the workplace still apply if your team never lifts anything heavier than a coffee mug. Programs designed to improve quality of life signal investment in employees as individuals. This is particularly true when the initiative focuses on personal care, and lead to increased employee engagement.

Another benefit of employee well-being in the workplace? Higher levels of retention. The belief that your employer has a stake in your physical or mental health has been shown to translate into increased loyalty and favorable feeling towards an employer. Initiatives like nutrition programs or smoking cessation support also have a ripple effect outside the office. These programs make employees more likely to perceive an employer as a source of positive impact in multiple sectors of their lives. The upshot of this high regard? Lower turnover which, in turn, means lower costs associated with hiring and training. 

The Lesser-Known Benefits of Well-Being in the Workplace

Taking an interest in your team’s health can also have some less intuitive side effects. One surprising benefit of employee well-being in the workplace? Enhanced adaptability. Researchers found that workers who showed high levels of engagement also responded well to changes at the office. Further, they exhibited lower levels of stress when confronted with a novel problem. Targeted wellness programming designed to address specific mental health issues, such as anxiety or communication skills, can also enhance employee performance and build critical soft skills.

The benefits of well-being in the workplace can also extend to company culture. Beyond ‘talking the talk’ about valuing employees, wellness programming helps an organization ‘walk the walk’ by demonstrating commitment. And it creates an opportunity for team members to connect and socialize around a common project or goal, building camaraderie.  

Making the Business Case for Employee Well-Being

When it comes to making a business case for the benefits of well-being in the workplace, there’s nothing like dollars and cents. One study conducted by public health experts found that, for every dollar invested in preventative health initiatives and wellness interventions, companies saved an average of $4.60 in lost productivity and medical costs. Even more persuasive, employees who leverage workplace wellness programs to make lifestyle changes net their employers around $353.00 in increased productivity.

The bottom line: the benefits of well-being in the workplace extend beyond your workers to your bottom line. From increased engagement and productivity to reduced medical costs and lower turnover, investing in programs and initiatives to support your organization’s mental and physical health just makes sense.