Corporate Wellness Entails More than Sun Chips in the Vending Machine
Any time a company makes an investment in its employees, you can be sure that those resources will come back to the advancement of the organization in a bigger way. Companies are getting pretty good at paying attention to this corporate wellness thing. Teams and offices are gathering together in weight-loss competitions, companies are offering healthier options in vending machines and cafeterias, some companies even offer gym time, treadmills or exercise balls. These companies do care, and it’s been great for the advancement of their company culture as well as their employee brand, but it seems that many of these companies have missed the most important component of corporate wellness—a psychologically healthy workplace.
In a 2013 Work Trends article, we learn that, “Recognizing employee’s mental well-being can directly impact workplace performance as increasing numbers of today’s successful companies excel at creating and sustaining such environments to engage and retain employees.” Did you get that last part? Retain and engagement—the two things that should be at the forefront of any good HR or recruiting professional’s mind. Retention and engagement are two factors that lead to great things for companies, but they don’t happen overnight and there’s no one way to accomplish them. Again, any investment in employees will always come back around.
Embracing the importance of the psychological wellness of your employees does another very important thing: saves the company money. So far, that’s increased retention, promotes engagement and saves money. This is a workplace trend that makes sense. It turns out that working Americans are more willing to stay with a company where they enjoy what they do and have a good work-life balance, over higher pay or other means of compensation. This is a big deal to employees and should therefore be a big deal to companies.
A large part of these employees’ psychological wellness is the feeling of being valued at work. Just about half of the employees involved in this study stated that they felt under-valued at work. Half, that’s a crying shame. Especially when it takes such little effort on the employers behalf to make employees feel valued. Despite this push toward corporate wellness, “Just 42% of employees said their organizations promote and support a healthy lifestyle and only 36% reported regularly participating in workplace health and wellness programs. Less than half, at 47% said their employers regularly seek input from employees and 37% said the organization makes changes based on that feedback.”
Norman B. Anderson, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association, said, “The well-being of an organization’s workforce is a strategic business imperative that is linked to its performance and success.” It can’t be stressed enough that the wellness of your employees equates to the wellness of your business.
“Half of all employees who say that they don’t feel valued at work report that they intend to look for a new job in the next year.” That is a whole lot of positions that will need to be sourced and filled. Workplace dissatisfaction is 100 percent preventable. “Conversely the report stated that those employees who feel valued are more likely to report better physical and mental health as well as higher levels of engagement, satisfaction and motivation.”
The first step toward promoting wellness in the workplace is for companies to actively recognize that their employees have a life outside of work. Employees want to feel valued and included, that’s really not too much to ask, especially when in return they are more productive, happier, and stay with the company longer.